Ethiopia set to generate power from GERD in days

Ethiopia set to generate power from GERD in days

The long-awaited the 6,000 megawatts electricity generation capacity Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is set to commence test power production in the coming days.

The private weekly English newspaper, Capital reported that GERD will start generating 700 megawatts of electricity within the coming days. It is recalled last November Eng. Seleshi Bekele (PhD) has indicated that GERD is expected to start the first phase power production in few weeks’ period.

Fully funded locally the about $5 billion largest hydropower in Africa is expected generate some 6,000 megawatts of electricity when completed. It is reported that currently over 82 percent of the whole project is completed.

Built near Sudan border in the Western part of Ethiopia, Benishangul Gumz region, GERD will create an arterial lake that can be used for fishery and other activities.

Ethiopia launched the construction of GERD in April 2011. Since then Africa’s largest dam has been facing opposition from the downstream countries mainly Egypt. After lighting tens of thousands of houses in rural Ethiopia, the Government of Ethiopia aims to sell electric power to neighboring countries when GERD fully goes operational a few years later.

Egypt, which has been using the majority of the water coming from Abay River of Ethiopia that flows into the Nile River, saying that GERD will reduce the volume of water it has been getting.

Ethiopia on the other hand has been arguing that it has the right to equally and fairly use the water for its development without causing significant harm to the down stream countries.

Sudan, which initially was supporting the construction of GERD indicating that it will reduce flooding by regulating the flow of the war, has been recently siding with Egypt opposing the water filling of GERD.

With the mediation of the African Union, the three countries have been negotiating for the past few years though agreement is not yet reached. In relation to the commencement of GERD to generate power in few days, Capital used anonymous government source for its report.

The first phase electric power generation of GERD is expected to be celebrated colorfully with the presence of the Ethiopian diaspora community who are in Ethiopia accepting the one million Ethiopian diaspora home coming challenge of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In addition to the Ethiopians in the diaspora millions of Ethiopians have contributed money for the construction of GERD by either buying bonds or through donations.