AFRICANGLOBE – Ethiopia is going to redivert the Blue Nile River back to its natural course, after completing the concrete civil work and installation of four huge metal culverts on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) by the end of this Ethiopian year, according to anonymous experts working on the project.
If all goes according to plan, the dam will also start holding water following the redivertion of the river.
The fourth anniversary of the launching of the GERD was celebrated at the project site located in the Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, Guba locality on Wednesday in the presence of senior government officials and members of the press.
An expert, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media, said that that installation of the four giant metal culverts on right side of dam has reached its final stage which will lead to the redivertion of the river back to its natural course.
“That means the dam will start holding water in the early months of the coming Ethiopian year,” the expert said.
The GERD which is under construction in the Guba locality that is 650 meter above sea level and some 850 km west of from the capital Addis Ababa will have 6000MW power generation capacity upon its completion.
The dam’s height will be 145 meter while its reservoir will extend to 246 km so that it can hold 74 billion metric cubic meters of water.
So far the project has reached 42 percent by filling 2.3 million metric tonnes of concrete, according to the project manager Simegnew Bekele (Eng.).
The anonymous expert told journalists that construction of the left side of the river bank has reached 72 meter out of its maximum height of 145 meter.
He also mentioned that the dam will start generating 216MW hydroelectric power on the early months of the coming Ethiopian year.
Though each turbine will have an installed generating capacity of 375MW, it is unthinkable to attain it unless the dam holds water with its full capacity, the expert said.
Thus after rediverting the river and holding the minimum water level two turbines will commence generating power with 108MW capacity, each.
By: Yohannes Anberbir