Two turbines of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will start generating hydropower after five months, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.
He made the remark speaking to the state broadcaster ETV, today while visiting the $5 billion GERD with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea. When it goes fully operational a few years later, GERD will have 10 turbines generating over 5,000 megawatts of electricity – more than double the current total electricity the country is currently generating.
President Isaias is the first head of state to visit the controversial GERD, which Egypt has been opposing claiming that it will reduce its water share from the Nile River. While Ethiopia on the other hand has been arguing that electricity is not a luxury for half of its population over its over 60 million people currently living in darkness.
Prime Minister Abiy indicated that the visit is aimed at witnessing the progress made in the constriction of GERD and water filling, as well as setting the target for the next year. So far over 76 percent of overall construction of GERD is completed, according to ETV report. “Much more awaits us. Success is inevitable. But marked progress is key. Pleased to have visited the GERD with President Isaias,” Prime Minister Abiy posted later twitted.
Along with his senior officials President Isaias, who began his three days visits in Ethiopia has also visited Koysha Hydro dam project, and coffee farms in Jimma area of Oromia Region of Ethiopia.