Ethiopia says plans to build two more Nile dams

(Reuters) – Ethiopia has announced plans to construct two dams along its share of the Nile, six months after embarking on a 5,250 MW power plant that rankled Egypt over concerns it might affect the flow of the river.

The Horn of Africa nation aims to produce 20,000 megawatts (MW) of power within the next 10 years, part of a plan to spend $12 billion over 25 years to raise power generating capability.

Officials estimate the hydropower potential of the nation — blessed with cascading rivers flowing through rugged mountains — is around 45,000 MW.

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Mihret Debebe of EEPC
Mihret Debebe of EEPC

 

“We are embarking on building two additional dams in the Nile Basin, and feasibility tests are under way with support from the Norwegian government,” said Mihret Debebe, chief executive of the state-run Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation.

Mihret did not give a time frame for completion of the projects, but added they would generate 2,100 MW upon completion “in the near future.”

“We plan to generate 5,000 MW from the Basin during the next five-year period until 2020,” he said.

Egypt, solely dependent on Nile waters, has long protested utilization by upstream nations, and has so far shunned a recent deal that aimed to replace colonial-era treaties that granted it a lion’s share of the river’s flow. >> Read More on Reuters

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