Ethiopia, China sign agreement for Gibe III hydro project construction

Ethiopia and China have signed a $459 million agreement for work on the 1,870-MW Gibe III hydropower project, with the Chinese government providing a loan for construction costs, local media reported.

The Gibe III hydroelectric project is being built on Ethiopia's Omo River.

In the agreement for the Gibe III hydroelectric project, the Italian firm Salini Costruttori S.p.A will continue handling the project construction, media reports indicate. The Chinese Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) will carry out the hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical part of the project, the chief executive of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation said.

The cost for electro-mechanical and hydraulic steel structure works is $495 million. Local media report that 85 percent of the cost will be covered by a loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

The US$1.75 billion Gibe III project, located 240 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa, includes a 240-meter-tall rockfill dam, tunnel, distribution and water diversion works and a powerhouse. The project's anticipated completion date is 2013 or 2014, reports indicate.

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