Ethiopia's largest hydroelectric power project goes smoothly

The state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) said Tuesday more than 35 percent of the work on the Gilgel Gibe-II Hydroelectric Power Generation Project, being carried out with 5.2 billion birr (about 600 million U.S. dollars), has been finalized.

Project Coordinator Simegnew Bekele said the project would boost the electric power supply of the country by 52 percent.

Simegnew made the remarks while briefing lawmakers of the lower House of People's Representatives, who paid a visit to the project recently.

The Gilgel Gibe II hydroelectric power generation station would generate 420mw electric power by diverting the Gilgel Gibe River, Simegnew said.

The construction of an 80-km road which is part of the project is being carried out, according to the coordinator.

The Italian government and the European Investment Bank provided, respectively, close to 2.3 billion birr (265 million dollars) and 517.7 million birr (59.64 million dollars) loan for the execution of the project, while the Ethiopian government covers the balance, he said.

The coordinator said work on the project is being undertaken round-the-clock with some 4,000 workers, including foreigners working on the site.

He said the first turbine of the power house is expected to become operational in December 2007.

It is to be recalled that the Gilgel Gibe I hydroelectric power generation project was finalized two years ago and is currently generating 184mw electric power.

Source: Xinhua



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