Africa, Ethiopia, Ethiopia Development, Gibe III, Hydroplant, News, World -

Ethiopia Developing Plans to Turn Largest Dam Into Hydropower Plant

Africa, Ethiopia, Ethiopia Development, Gibe III, Hydroplant, News, World -

Ethiopia Developing Plans to Turn Largest Dam Into Hydropower Plant

Ethiopia’s government plans to start generating electricity from its largest hydropower plant, Gibe III, in the second half of the year if annual rains sufficiently fill its reservoir, Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said.

The wet season from June through August should allow the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Office, or EEPO, to begin producing 187 megawatts of electricity from one of the 10 turbines installed at Africa’s tallest dam, he said by phone on Tuesday from Addis Ababa, the capital. The dam is 243 meters (797 feet) high.

“Gibe III will start power generation after the rainy season,” Alemayehu said. “It will be this year.”

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 neighboring countries. Ethiopia is seeking to capitalize on its hydropower-generating capacity of 45,000 megawatts, which the World Bank ranks as Africa’s second-largest after the Democratic Republic of Congo.

EEPO plans to bring a turbine online every month after the plant starts generation, though that will depend on the amount of rainfall in the Gibe-Omo river basin, Alemayehu said.

“If there is sufficient water in the reservoir it will be possible to generate the maximum,” he said. “If there’s no water, you will limit the number of turbines.”

Regulated Flow

The dam will store 11.8 billion cubic meters (3.1 trillion gallons) of water that can be released downstream for power generation or other purposes, according to the project’s website. The Three Gorges Dam in China, the world’s largest hydropower dam, holds 39.3 billion cubic meters.

Ethiopian officials say that in addition to power generation, Gibe III will regulate water flows to end annual flooding in the southwestern South Omo region and provide a year-round supply for downstream irrigation projects.
The flow into Lake Turkana, which is mostly in neighboring Kenya, will be reduced by about two-thirds for an estimated three years while the reservoir is being filled, International Rivers, a Berkeley-based non-profit organization that campaigns against large dams, said last month.

The group also says that the approximately 28 percent of the river’s annual flow drawn off for 150,000 hectares (370,658 acres) of Ethiopian state-owned sugar plantations in the South Omo region will exacerbate shortages at Lake Turkana and threaten the livelihood of as many as 300,000 people.

Read more at Bloomberg

Leave a comment

Related Posts

It’s an Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl rematch: Alcorn State vs. N.C. A&T Braves win SWAC title and and now bring their high-powered offense to bowl game
Well, it’s all set. The matchup for the Dec. 15 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta is actually a rematch: ...
Read More
HBO’s ‘Say Her Name’ has few answers about what happened to Sandra Bland But new documentary gives her a voice, even in death
The mother of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman who committed suicide in a Texas jail after being hauled there for bac...
Read More
Meghan Markle ignores negative news, believes British press out to get her
Meghan Markle has developed a way of dealing with negative press: She doesn’t read it. After a tough week in the medi...
Read More
George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad remains flashpoint in dog-whistle politics
What many political historians will tell you is that Donald Trump‘s brand of politics was not created in a vacuum. An...
Read More