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The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) will begin construction of Genale Dawa III hydro electric power plant. The project will be the second since the five year development program the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) was endorsed in 2010.

According to EEPCo officials construction on Genale Dawa Basin has already started after the corporation got the green light from its board approving to go ahead with the project.

Genale Dawa III will have a production capacity of 254MW. Construction has already begun at the project site, in the southern part of the country at Genale Dawa Basin, the third largest river basin in Ethiopia.

Recently, Mihret Debebe, CEO of EEPCo, said that a GD III hydro power project that is already awarded for Chinese CGGC, three years ago will fully complete in end the end of the GTP.  The total project cost, which is 400 million dollar has secured from the Chinese Import Export (EXIM) Bank.

The project include another hydro power project, Genale Dawa Six, which will also provide for an irrigation scheme to the lower Genale basin.

Recently the continental development partner, African Development Bank (AfDB) disclosed that it will consider financing part of the development at the area.

The Genale Dawa River Basin Integrated Resources Development master plan study, financed by AfDB, indicated that the total capital investment required for the 20-30 year planning period is about 3.8 billion dollars. The study which was completed two years ago indicated that the major share of this investment is water resource development.

The corporation has undertaken various hydro power constructions that enable the sole utility provider to generate over 2,000 Mega Watts (MW) of electric power, a huge increase from the 764 MW before four years. In addition to that other hydro power projects began during the previous five year development plan from mid 2005-2010. From these Gibe III, which has 1870MW of electric production capacity, is one of the major projects.

The government plans to produce 10,000MW of additional electric power from renewable resources such as wind and geothermal resources, excluding the Grand Renaissance Dam, which is under construction on Abay (Blue Nile) river.

When the GTP was introduced the management of EEPCo said about five new hydro power projects will be commissioned to meet power demand target.

The Grand Renaissance Dam, the first hydro electric project in the GTP officially commenced in May last year. According to the corporation, the first phase of the dam will start generating power in 35 months.  The huge and locally financed project will consume over 4.5 billion dollars, although the total cost has not yet been disclosed.