96% complete, the Grand Barrage de la Renaissance produces much more electricity than expected

96% complete, the Grand Barrage de la Renaissance produces much more electricity than expected
96% complete, the Grand Barrage de la Renaissance produces much more electricity than expected

145 meters high and 260 meters wide, an imposing concrete structure splits the Blue Nile from side to side. When the dam reaches full power, the energy produced is expected to be 83% stronger than currently.

Already 2700 gigawatts while the dam is not completed

If you ever travel up the 1,600 km of the Blue Nile, you will see an impressive structure in the Ethiopian region of Benishangul-Gumuz, a few kilometers from Sudan, the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Its construction is currently nearing completion and is already giving rise to pleasant surprises.

While it was ultimately expected to provide 5,100 megawatts, this construction, intended to become the most powerful hydroelectric plant in Africa, currently produces 2,700 gigawatt hours.

Providing electricity nationwide

This is 26% more than the first forecasts, as highlighted by RFI, which explains that these good results could be due to the capacity of the dam to store more water than expected. As a reminder, the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is only 96% complete.

According to Truwork Shiferaw, responsible for the plan, the dam would have provided no less than 16% of the country’s electricity. It should help power thirteen turbines at the hydroelectric plant. Today, only two are working, the other eleven should be launched in 2025.

The dam of discord

However, time is running out according to those in charge of the site, who are determined to finish on time. Victims of threats and intimidation (such as a fire breaking out in a factory supplying cement to the dam), the finishing touches to the GERD are hectic, although the general director of the project, Kifle Horo, assures that everything is going well as planned.

The dam should ultimately provide double the national electricity production. The Ethiopians are being asked by the national authorities to ensure that this project comes to fruition. A successful campaign, as $340 million was raised.

Sources: RFI, le Point

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