Ethiopia’s Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric power project began power generation on Saturday, October 10.
According to Alemayehu Tegenu, Cabinet Affairs Minister, and former Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, the power will provide an important contribution to Ethiopia’s socio-economic development by feeding the country’s grid as well as facilitating more power to the country’s power-export program and assisting regional integration among neighbouring countries through the interconnected power links.
The 1,870-megawatt capacity Gibe III is the latest of four large-scale Ethiopian dams built by the government since 2004 to supply nascent manufacturing industries and produce surplus electricity to sell to neighbouring countries. It is located about 92 km northwest of Arba Minch in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.
Gibe III is expected to boost hydroelectric power generation capacity of Ethiopia by close to a hundred percent. It is the second largest hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia next to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – GERD dam which is half way finished.
Ethiopian officials say that in addition to power generation, Gibe III is expected to regulate water flows to end annual flooding in the southwestern South Omo region and provide a year-round supply for downstream irrigation projects.