ETHIOPIA GIBE III HYDROPOWER

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The project is located approximately 300 km south west of the capital Addis Ababa. The works consist of the design and construction of a Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam and an open-air power plant with 10 Francis turbines with a total installed power of 1,870 MW and an expected energy output of 6,500 GWh per year. The project also involves three diversion tunnels and two twin pumping tunnels, two intake structures, two horizontal tunnels, four vertical wells and two distributors. The plant—Ethiopia’s largest—is the third in the Gibe-Omo hydroelectric cascade, which includes the 184-MW Gilgel Gibe and 420-MW Gibe II, both upstream of Gibe III. Two additional plants downstream, Gibe IV and Gibe V, are planned by state-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. Operations began at the 1.87-GW Gibe III hydroelectric power in October 2015.

Project financing

the project managed to obtain Euros 1.470 million financing from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Ethiopian government.

Impact

The increase in generating capacity provided by Gibe III, together with ongoing rural electrification programmes will facilitate improved access to electricity for the Ethiopian population with associated downstream, benefits.