Officials give update on Ethiopia's 6,000-MW Grand Renaissance hydroelectric project

Grand Renaissance Hydropower Project

Ethiopian officials said they expect to be producing at least 750 MW of power from the Grand Renaissance hydropower plant within the next 18 months.

Speaking at a press conference marking the third year since construction of the US$4.5 billion project, deputy director general Zadig Abrha said the project would be more than a third completed at that point.

"We hope we will be able to get the amount of water to move two turbines by next year as the first phase of power production at the dam nears completion," Abrha said.

The Grand Renaissance -- formerly known as both "Project X" and the "Millennium Project" before Ethiopia's Council of Ministers renamed it in 2011 -- will be owned and operated by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC).

HydroWorld.com reported this past January that Alstom had signed a $406.32 million contract with Metals & Engineering Corporation (METEC) to supply turbines and generators for the project.

The project is located along the Blue Nile, which accounts for 85% of the Nile Rivers flow.

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