MetEC outsources electromechanical work of GERD to Chinese firm

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The Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), who is undertaking the electromechanical installation work of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), is going to outsource it to a Chinese giant company, on the first unites of the project, Capital has learnt.  The outsourcing puts hope to accomplishing the project early.
The project that commenced seven years ago and at the initial plan was expected to be accomplished by 2017 has been delayed; despite several design changes and increasing the production capacity to 6,450 MW was undertaken.
The project is run by the Italian construction firm of Salini Impregilo and MetEC as the two main contractors and a Franco-Italian joint venture of Coyne et Bellier and ELC Electroconsult retained the consultancy service.
The civil work managed by Salini is in good progress. The electromechanical installation was expected to be done by MetEC itself, while equipment supplied by prominent global manufacturers. Now it transferred it partly due to the poor progress.
On his press conference held on Thursday July 26 Seleshi Bekele (PhD), Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE), about the sudden death of the prominent project manager Semegnew Bekele (Eng.), admitted that the delay occurred on the electromechanical part of the project, which is handled by MetEC.
He said “the civil work is in good hands.” “Stakeholders including MoWIE, contractors, consultants, Ethiopian Electric Power, project leaders and board are working strongly to accelerate the project,” he added. The project manager of GERD Semegnew was here to attend meetings as of Monday, according to Seleshi.
According to the information that Capital obtained, there was a bid to outsource the installation work, the project with the local currency payment. Sources said that the company has already commenced its work at the site a couple of weeks ago.
The company may carry out the penstock, Bottom outlet, steel structure and other relevant projects on the electromechanical part, which may allow the project to generate the first power from the two turbines.
According to sources, who are close to the case, MetEC did not plan to outsource the installation of electromechanical work, while the pressure on it forced to award for other companies in an international bid.
Even though MetEC did not assign another company for installation until recently, it awarded several supplies and design works for prominent companies on the electromechanical part of the project.
For instance it has subcontracted turbine construction to France’s Alstom and Germany’s Voith and other Chinese company were assigned for the supply and design of high voltage equipment.
Most of the design and supply of the electromechanical work at GERD has been outsourced for international firms.
As of the latest information the first two units of GERD may start production by 2020 according to the rescheduled plan. Experts on the sector stated that the involvement of well-known companies would allow the project at least to start production within few period.
The Minister has also stated that there were several meeting about the project with several stakeholders.
GERD that is reported accomplished more than 60 percent is expected to consume over USD 4 billion.