Initial energy production from the Grand Renaissance dam in Ethiopia is set to begin in 2020, according to Ethiopia’s Water and Sanitation Minister Seleshi Bekele.
“We expect the dam to be fully operational by the end of 2022. 750 MW of power is the planned initial production with two turbines by December next year,” said Bekele.
The Grand Renaissance Dam will aid the country in meeting its goal of becoming Africa’s biggest power exporter. The dam is expected to produce 6,000 MW of power when fully operational.
Bekele said that the $4 billion dam is 80% complete and the performance of hydro-mechanic work has reached 25%. He added that the Ministry has bought nine turbines and an energy generator out of which some are at the port yet to be delivered.
Construction of the dam, which was formally known as Millennium Dam, began in April 2011 and was expected to be accomplished by 2017. It however experienced delays due delays in the electro-mechanical part of the construction as well as changes in design to accommodate higher generation capacity.
Further, the government has signed agreement with GE Hydro France, a unit of GE Renewables, to accelerate the completion of the dam. The firm will be paid nearly $61 million to manufacture, fix and test turbine generators.