The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

15 March 2014

Ethiopia: GERD to Produce 700 Mw Electric Power By Next Year

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD,) constructed over the Blue Nile River (Abay) will start producing 700 MW of electric power by next year.

This was disclosed during a press conference called by the office of the National Council for the coordination of public participation on the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on Wednesday March 12.

According to Zading Abreha, Deputy Director General of the office, "By next year two of the turbines among the 16 will start to generate 375 MW electric power each."

The project was started three years ago and the anniversary of the inauguration of the project will be celebrated throughout the nation and across the globe.

The celebration includes a painting and photograph exhibition, poetic and literature nights, musical drama, and sports and entertainment programs at Addis Ababa stadium and other programs at Benishangul Gumuz, Guba.

According to the deputy director of the office, so far the participation of the public is encouraging and includes four major parts of support namely political, public diplomacy, financial and environmental protection support.

According to Zadig the construction of the dam is now reaching more than 30 percent and consumes 27 billion birr, among this consumed money 7.1 birr is collected from the public.

The public promises to pledge 11.5 billion birr and so far has contributed 7.1 billion birr, according to Zading this accounts for 63 percent of the promise.

There are 8000 workers and 1500 machineries that have never been used in the country.

The deputy director also stated that the government is committed and determined to finalize the project on or before time. The council was established by the council of ministers regulation no 224/2011 and has 75 members drawn from the ruling party, opposition parties, intellectuals, religious leaders and civic associations.

This council has set up the office of National Council for the coordination of public participation on the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam that accomplishes the day-to-day functions of the council. The office has a Director General, Deputy Director Generals and five directorates that accomplish functions of resource mobilization, project management, environmental protection, and media and communication.

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