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Ethiopia is trying to finance the construction of Gibe IV and Gibe V hydro electric power projects that will have a combined generating capacity of over 2100 MW as part of a series of cascade dams on the Gibe River. Sources told Capital that the feasibility study of the two power plants is being finalized and the government is looking for financers for the project that will consume billions of dollars.
The projects that will be managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power will have a generation capacity of 1470 MW (Gibe IV) and GIBE V will have a capacity to generate 660 MW.
“These two dams will be the next big projects of the country right after the commissioning of Gibe III which does have a generating capacity of 1870 MW,” sources said.
The Gibe III hydropower project is now more than 80 percent complete. It is expected to start generating power early next year, when its first turbine becomes operational. The other nine turbines will be installed and become fully operational by April 2016. The power house of the project contains 10 units each having a capacity of producing 187 MW.
The Gibe III Hydro-power project, with its potential to double the current electric power generating capacity of the country, is a key part of Ethiopia’s 5-years Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).
The financial costs of the dam and hydroelectric power plant have been estimated to be 1.55 billion Euros. The cost of a transmission line from the power plant to the nearby Wolayta Sodo Substation has been estimated at 35 million Euros.
Gibe III when completed, will supply power need for neighboring countries such as Kenya with cheap power.
Currently Ethiopia is building Africa’s largest dam (The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the River Nile, which is a controversial issue between Ethiopia and Egypt. GERD when commissioned will have an installed generating capacity of 6,000 MW.