Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ethiopia starts up GERD, defying downstream critics

© Supplied by Ethiopia Prime MinisMan salutes in front of big Ethiopian flag
Ethiopia has begun generating power from its controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Picture shows; GERD celebrations. GERD, Ethiopia. Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali Date; 20/02/2022

Ethiopia has begun generating power from its controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali said the start of operations was “good news for our continent and the downstream countries with whom we aspire to work together”. The start of the GERD’s first 375 MW turbine marked the “birth of a new era”, he said.

© Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minis
Picture shows; GERD walk around. GERD, Ethiopia. Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali Date; 20/02/2022
© Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minis
Picture shows; GERD celebrations. GERD, Ethiopia. Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali Date; 20/02/2022
© Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minis
Picture shows; GERD celebrations. GERD, Ethiopia. Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali Date; 20/02/2022

Both Egypt and Sudan have opposed the construction of the GERD dam, fearing it may reduce water flows.

The minister with responsibility for the GERD Seleshi Bekele said the start up of operations proved that it could generate power without reducing the flow of water to those downstream.

The company has filled GERD and begun operation in line with the Declaration of Principles, he said. The facility is a “water bank” for local power generation, while safeguarding against flood and drought.

“GERD should be the source of cooperation, not conflict, for shared prosperity not bringing scarcity, regional integration”, he said. The dam will help achieve a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Ethiopia honestly cares not only [for] it’s benefits but also the wellbeing of brothers and sisters sharing the Nile River,” Bekele said. “Our call is let us use our God given resources judiciously & realise the win win for all.”

Existential threat

Egypt has condemned the move. Noting the start up of operations at the GERD, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the step was a violation of the Declaration of Principles from 2015, to which Ethiopia had agreed.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, speaking in July 2021, described the GERD project as an “existential threat” to Egypt. Speaking to the United Nations Security Council, Shoukry said the dam would “constrict the lifeblood of innocent millions living downstream”.

Webuild confirmed the start up of the first turbine. The Italian company noted that the plant would reach total capacity of 5,150 MW. The GERD will be the largest hydropower dam in Africa, it said, helping Ethiopia in its target to achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.

© Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minis
Picture shows; GERD celebrations. GERD, Ethiopia. Supplied by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali Date; 20/02/2022

The GERD project is 84% complete, Webuild said. The main dam will be 1,800 metres long and 170 metres high. The reservoir behind the dam will hold 74 billion cubic metres of water.

Webuild CEO Pietro Salini said the GERD project had “changed the capability” of Ethiopia. Water, he said, was the country’s special gift. “This is the white oil of Ethiopia.”

.

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts