Following the upgrading of generators, the installed hydropower generation capacity of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been increased to 6,450MW.
Initially, the dam was designed to generate 5,250MW. However, due to the upgrading made on the power plant, its generation capacity raised to 6,000 MW from 5,250 MW.
But six years later, the total installed generation capacity of the dam has been increased by additional 450MW as a result of the improvement made on generators to boost the capacity of the power plant.
Following the upgrading made twice, the electricity generation capacity of the dam increased by a total of 1,200 MW, which is equivalent to the power being generated from Tekeze, Beles and Gibe-II hydropower plants.
Ethiopia is preparing to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the commencement of the construction of the dam with various fund-raising programs.
In a press conference organised with respect to the anniversary, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, announced a 56 percent completion of the dam.
According to the Minister, works are also nearing completion to enable the dam to generate 750MW in advance.
“Construction of power receiver and transmission stations as well as installation of power transmission lines have been fully completed. The only thing left is fixing the two turbines that generate 375MW each,” he said.
The next step is enabling the dam to hold water, he said, indicating the final preparation being made by the government to facilitate ways in which the filling of the dam’s reservoir will take place.
“We are preparing to discuss with the governments of Sudan and Egypt,” he said, reiterating that “the dam doesn’t cause any significant harm on the lower riparian countries.”
The construction of the dam is being funded by the people and government of Ethiopia.
According to Debretsion, the people of Ethiopia have continued their support to the construction of the dam through environmental conservation activities and the purchase of dam bonds.
He said the people have so far contributed 9.4 billion birr for the dam.
Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Dam recently said various fund raising programs will be carried out in connection with the 6th anniversary of the dam.
The office planned to collect 1.8 billion birr from the fund raising programs.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is being built in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, approximately 500 km northwest of the capital Addis Ababa.
At the end of the works, GERD will be the largest dam in Africa.