By Getahun Legesse
ADDIS ABABA– Close to 79 percent of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been accomplished and the dam would conduct preliminary energy generating trial this year, according to GERD project management.
In connection with 10th anniversary of the commencement of the GERD , the GERD project Manager Kifle Horo said the Dam, which is 1,780 meters high and expected to generate 15,695 GWh annually, would start pre-operational energy generation pilot this year.
Kifle noted that over 91 percent of the civil works, 54 percent of hydro-steel structure and 53 percent of the electro-mechanical progresses have been completed.
“The dam is expected to reverse the long standing problem of low access to basic services due to shortage of energy supply the country has been encountering,” he said.
Kifle added that the dam can also serve for fishery, tourism, sediment trap, reduce evaporation, regulates fluctuation of water volume, energy uplift, and creating economic integration among African countries.
“Besides, the dam has environmental relevance by reducing the carbon emission by replacing thermal power plants.
The filling mechanism can be adjusted to seasonality and delay of filling during depending on hydrological condition of the year. “
Preliminary energy generation trial and second dam filling are the two decisive momentous to be completed in 2021, it was learnt.
Engineer Sileshi Bekele (Ph.D), stressed that Ethiopia tributes about 77 billion cubic meter of water to the Nile river annually being Tekeze and Abay rivers the major contributors.
Sileshi added that Ethiopia as a landlocked country should make use of its domestic rivers to well exploit the water trade potential with a view to getting rid of rain-fed agriculture.
Prof. Yakob Arsano, on his part, stressed that Ethiopia resides the right to rule over its natural resource so long as it is in line with the international law.
The GERD is a developmental project to quench Ethiopia’s piled up electricity supply thirst and should not be perceived as a cause for conflict, he noted.
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