December 17/2016 Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn today inaugurated the 1870 Megawatt Gibe III hydropower project, reiterating Ethiopia’s commitment to be a green energy hub in the region.
The Prime Minister along with about 2,000 guests including senior government officials, Ambassadors, representatives of the Italian Salini Impregilo Group gathered at the project site in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region to celebrate the successful completion of the 1.5 billion Euros project.
The inauguration of the Gibe III hydropower project is an indication that moving from one success level to another is becoming a culture to Ethiopia, the Premier remarked while addressing today’s televised inaugural event.
He said the project, in the making for about ten years, will raise supply of renewable power in the country and enhance regional integration through power infrastructures.
Apart from becoming a renewable power source, the role of the project was vital during the El-Nino induced crisis in the country.
Recalling the government’s focus towards developing green energy sources, the Premier reiterated the nation’s unrelenting stance in realizing the bid to attain a middle income status and become a renewable energy hub in the Eastern Africa.
The dam, among the three (including Gibe I and Gibe II) built on the Omo River, comprises a Roller-Compacted Concrete dam (RCC dam) and an open-air powerhouse with 10 Francis turbines that offer an overall installed power of 1,870 MW.
According to Engineer Azeb Asnake, CEO Ethiopian Electric Power, Gibe III will almost double the current hydropower supply with significant impact in furthering development endeavors in the country.
The project will play a pivotal role in coping up with the nation’s increasing demand for power which shows an increase of over 30 per cent a year, she added.
With such a huge power generation capacity, the Gibe III hydropower project becomes the third largest hydroelectric plant in the African continent, when it generates power at full capacity.
Workers from more than 30 countries were involved in realizing the project which represents an engineering reference point at a global level due to its technical characteristics and number of workers.