Earlier, the project was stalled by construction delays and criticism from Cairo, which specifically expressed concern that Ethiopia’s planned Grand Renaissance Dam would reduce the flow of freshwater from the River Nile to Egyptian territory.
The €3.3 billion ($4 billion) Grand Renaissance Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in Africa, is due to start initial operations in December 2020, according to Ethiopian Water and Energy Minister Seleshi Bekele.
“750 megawatts is the planned initial production with two turbines. The government expected the dam to be fully operational by the end of 2022”, Bekele told the country’s parliament.
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At the same time, he admitted that Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), an Ethiopian military conglomerate which is building turbines for the dam, has only completed 23 percent of the work.
Bekele singled out other construction delays, saying that “purchased generators, turbines and other equipment are scattered in ports and other places, meaning more costs”.
The statement came after Ethiopian state media reported on Wednesday that the government had inked a deal with GE Hydro France, a unit of GE Renewables, in a bid to facilitate the completion of the dam.
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Last August, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed decided to cancel a METEC contract, noting that not a…