Ethiopia: Gibe III hydropower plant set to come online this year
The current largest hydropower plant in Ethiopia, the Gibe III, is set to come online this year. During the rainy season, June through August, the Gibe III hydropower plant will be capable of generating 187MW of power from one of its turbines.
The hydropower plant cost the country US$1.6bn (24bn Zar) and has 10 installed turbines. Ethiopian Electric Power is hoping to bring one turbine per month for power generation, if rains allow.Salini and other Gibe III hydropower plant developers have said the dam will boost Ethiopia’s power capacity by 234%, generating 45,000 MW.Gibe III will join other three dams built since 2004. The government set aside US$ 20bn last year to boost power generation between 2015-2020.
The Gibe III dam will hold 3.1 trillion gallons and is expected to control flooding downstream. The dam could generate electricity for sale in Kenya, with an electricity transmission line between the two expected in 2018.International Rivers, a strong champion opposed to large dams, has reported that water on Lake Turkana will be reduced by two-thirds for three years in order for Gibe III reservoir to be filled. It has said the dam could complicate water supply situation for 370,658 acres of Ethiopian state-owned sugar plantations, by reducing it to 28% annually.