Ethiopia’s $1.8 billion dam project under construction along river Omo could begin generating power by June and be fully operational by early 2016. Gilgel Gibe III Dam will nearly double the country’s energy output, helping to resolve chronic power outages and sustain a booming economy. CCTV America’s Girum Chala reported this story from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Work started in the Omo valley of Southern Ethiopia nearly seven and half years ago.
Reports suggested the Gibe III hydroelectric power generating dam works have been delayed by about three years, due to funding related constraints. But now the Ethiopian electric power corporation has announced that close to 90 percent of the dam is complete and the first phase of power generation will begin in June 2015.
“We are reducing it to five years or six years.because other wise we cannot catch up with the growing demand,” Mekuria Lemma, director of Strategic Power Generation Investment said.
With plans of exporting power to the rest of the African continent, Ethiopia is harnessing its hydro, wind and geothermal power sources with close to $15 billion investment.
“The investment in Ethiopia is currently booming and the main back bone for this investment is energy. So from our assessment or studies the demand for electricity is growing more than twenty five percent per year,” Azeb Asnake, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power said.
Right now, Ethiopia exports power to Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti. And it has lined up power exporting plans to Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Yemen. According to analysts, this energy export scheme will boost Ethiopia’s economy for the next decade.