Ethiopia launches massive Gibe 3 hydroelectric dam

Past picture of the Gibe 3 dam under construction. PHOTO/Studio Pietrangeli consulting engineers

Ethiopia’s infrastructure boom continues as massive hydro dam is launched.

Ethiopia has officially opened the Gibe 3 hydro-electric dam – which is among the biggest in Africa.

Ethiopia aims to produce 15,000 megawatts of electricity through its dams in the coming 5 years, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at a ceremony launching the Gibe 3 dam on Saturday December 17.

Officials said Gibe 3 makes Ethiopia one of the biggest producers and consumers of renewable energy in Africa. They said the massive dam will help Ethiopia meet its own and neighboring countries’ increasing demands for cheap, renewable electricity.

The Gibe 3 dam which cost US$1.7 billion to build, is part of the Ethiopia’s efforts to build a series of dams on the Omo River, which runs into Lake Turkana in Kenya.
The country has abundant rainfall in the parts of the country that supply the dams with water to produce hydro-electricity. It is also now building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has the capacity to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity and will be Africa’s biggest hydro-electric plant.

Attracting investment

Ethiopia’s other infrastructure development projects are aimed at attracting more investment. Earlier this year Ethiopia launched a 756 kilometer (470-mile) electric railway from the capital, Addis Ababa to Djibouti’s main port.

A year ago, the country completed Africa’s newest light railway transit system, which connects the 4 parts of the capital, Addis Ababa. Another railway system is being built across the country as Ethiopia aspires to connect to more of its neighbors by rail.

Source: Associated Press