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Ethiopia completes filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir

Ethiopia has completed the fourth and final filling of the 5,150 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir, located 700 km north west of the capital Addis Ababa, in the region of Benishangul - Gumaz along the Blue Nile. The project has undergone several delays and should be fully operational in 2024-2025.

The power plants, operated by the country’s national power utility Ethiopian Electric Power, are positioned on the right and left banks of the river and comprise 13 Francis turbines with a total installed power of 5,150 MW and estimated production of 15.7 TWh/year. As of August 2022, only 2 turbines were in operation; others will be online once the reservoir is completely filled.

The EPC contract was awarded to the Italian construction group Salini Costruttori, now Webuild. The country started to build the project on the Nile River in May 2011 and began filling the dam's reservoir in 2020, arousing a fierce opposition from neighbouring Egypt and Sudan. The US$4.5bn project was initially designed as a 5,250 MW project but later upgraded to 6,450 MW, before being downsized to 5,150 MW.

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