News: Ethiopia completes third round filling of Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam successfully: Premier

Picture: EEP

Addis Abeba – The third round filling of Renaissance Dam has been successfully completed, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced. Speaking on the occasion, PM Abiy assured downstream countries of the Nile, Egypt and Sudan, that when Ethiopia set out to build a dam on the Nile, from the beginning it did not want to make the river to benefit only Ethiopia. “When we want to get the benefits that we deserve, we are also thinking that like Ethiopia, the other gifts of the Nile – Sudan and Egypt will use the river in their respective ways,” he said.

Following the third round filling, the Nile water has started to flow over the top of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for the third time, the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) said.

The water transmission metal works that had to be installed in the dam were completed, bringing the height of the middle part of the dam to 600 meters above sea level, as well as bringing the left and right sides to 611 meters, EEP further said.

The Nile River, which was flowing at a height of 500 meters above sea level, is therefore flowing over the top of the dam at a height of 600 meters above sea level following the third time flow.

Accordingly, EEP said that the left and right edges of the dam have reached 645 meters above sea level, and the construction of the civil works of the dam has reached 95%; similarly, the electromechanical works and installations has reached 61%, while the metal work is at 73%, bringing the total performance to 83.3%.

Currently, the height of the Dam stands at 145 meters from the ground, and its length has reached 1.8 kilometers, EEP said, further adding that the thickness of the main Dam is 130 meters at the base of the dam, while the top or the upper part of the Dam is at 11 meters.

“The plan to start generating power from two units of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the fiscal year has been successful,” EEP said.

The inauguration ceremony of the power generation from the second turbine was held yesterday, which saw the GERD’s Unit 9 start operation producing. Unit 10 started generating power last February. Both units have the capacity to generate 375 MW electricity each, according to EEP. The 750 MW of electricity output from the two turbines will surpasses that of the output from Gibe I and II Dam.

Today’s commencement of the third round flow, as well as the inauguration yesterday of the Unit 9 turbine was attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other high level government officials.

“Today’s generations of Ethiopians are the bearers of this opportunity and victory, for which we congratulate you,” PM Abiy said. “The GERD is the historical project on which Ethiopians have invested their labor, money and knowledge.”

The cornerstone for the construction of the GERD, formerly known as the Millennium Dam or Hidase Dam, was laid 02 April 2011 by Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. “If hydropower dams are to be built anywhere on earth, then Ethiopia is a prime candidate. Hydropower dams in Ethiopia address acute power shortages in the country and the sub-region, an acute shortage that all and Sundry agree is a major bottleneck in the fight against poverty in our country and region. Hydropower generation in Ethiopia is part of a most ambitious and environmentally sustainable path of development with zero net carbon emission in the country and significant reductions of emission in the sub-region. Hydropower projects in Ethiopia have been shown to have negligible deleterious social and environmental impact compared to virtually anywhere else on Earth. Hydropower dams on transboundary rivers in Ethiopia not only cause no appreciable harm to lower riparian countries but actually increases the benefit they derive from these rivers,” the late Meles said at the official ceremony marking the start of the construction. AS

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