Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Amerti-Neshi inaugurated, Kenya on grid by 2016

Four years after the project began the 97MW Amerti-Neshi Multipurpose Hydroelectric Power Station was inaugurated yesterday.
Built by China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), at a cost of 137 million dollars, the electricity station has two turbines which can each generate 48.4 megawatts of electricity.
China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) with experience in hydro electric and infrastructure construction, began building the Power Station in September 2007 after signing a contract the previous December.
The dam was constructed on the Neshi River, five kilometres before it converges with the Amerti River, both tributaries of the Finchaa River which is an offshoot of the Abay (Blue Nile) River. The dam’s reservoir, which started collecting water on July 22, 2010, can hold 448 million cubic metres.
The hydro project is located 250km west of Addis Ababa in the Finchaa area in Oromia Regional State.
The Chinese Export-Import (EXIM) Bank loaned 85 percent of the money for the project and the rest was covered by the Ethiopian government.   
Five million dollars was set aside for consultancy work by Montgomery, Watson & Harza (MWH) Consultancy Co, a US based firm which also worked on the 300MW Tekeze Dam.
The project includes a 241Km transmission line installed by EEPCo with a total budget of 445 million birr obtained in a separate loan from the same bank.
In a related development, Kenya’s national grid will be connected to Ethiopia by 2016 as part of the Vision 2030 blueprint.
“We are committed to increasing the national capacity in line with Vision 2030. It is a massive high cost project which, once done, will bring down the cost of power in the country,” Kenyan officials disclosed last week.
Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water and Energy said, during the signing ceremony, Ethiopia is in a position to increase the electricity sold to Kenya from the current 400 to 1000 mega watts in the future.
The deal which is being financed by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and the French Agency for Development at a cost of 765.4 million dollars was sealed last Wednesday at the conclusion of talks between Kenya and Ethiopia being held at Safari Park Hotel.
Currently EEPCo has many power projects in the pipeline including hydro power and geothermal. By the end of the Growth and Transformation plan the state owned power provider plans to generate up to 10,000MW, a dramatic increase from the current 2,000MW.
This is the fourth hydro electric project finalized within two years. A year ago the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) inaugurated Tekeze with 300MW production capacity, Gilgel Gibe II with a production capacity of 420MW and the largest power station Tana Beles that has a 460MW production capacity.
Gibe III with a capacity of 1,870MW, as well as Genale Dawa III and Genale Dawa VI with capacities of 254MW, and 246MW, respectively, Geba I and Geba II, with the capacity to generate 215MW and 157MW, respectively; and Chemoga Yeda I are some of hydro power projects that are under construction or will commence in the near future, while the Great Renaissance Dam that will produce 5,250MW is the biggest hydro project in the country. It is being constructed at the Sudan border in Benshangul Gumuz regional state.