A Day After Launching Power Production From The 2nd Turbine, Ethiopia Completed The 3rd Filling Of GERD
- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the completion of the third phase of filling the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river, saying “from the beginning that we did not want to make the river our own.”
- Including the third filling, the dam has able to hold about 22 billion cubic meters of water and generate two units of turbine electricity, indicating that there is no shortage of water in downstream countries.
- The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a project for the realization of which Ethiopians have invested in sweat, money, and time, with some paying the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty, not to ‘sideline and harm those countries.’
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy announced that a third filling of the multi-billion dollar Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was completed, a development that led Egypt last month to protest to the UN Security Council. Abiy Ahmed has announced the completion of the third filling in the presence of Ethiopian President Sahle-Work, Duepty Prime Miniter Demeke Mekonene, and other government officials. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been under construction since 2011 to generate about 5,150 megawatts of electricity per year when all 13 turbines are in operation, according to the Ethiopian government.
This comes after the Primer on Thursday switched on the second turbine of its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a $5 billion hydroelectric power plant. The Prime Minister said Ethiopia is constructing the hydro dam to generate electric power for its people living in dark. Sudan and Egypt should understand that Ethiopia has no intention to cause harm to the downstream countries other than to meet its electric power need.
“Today as you see behind me, the third filling is complete. The Nile is a gift of God given to us for Ethiopians to make use of it.
“Compared to last year, we have reached 600 metres (1,968 feet) which is 25 metres (82 feet) higher than the previous filling.”
In her remarks on the third successful completion of the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), President Sahle-Work described the historic project as the portrayal of Triumphant Ethiopia. She said the achievements made on the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) signify what Ethiopians can realize if they stand together. Speaking at the topping out of the third feeling of the GERD today, President Sahlework said GERD is the face of the ‘champion Ethiopia’ that represents a “Can do attitude”.
“GERD has a meaning that goes beyond generating and supplying power because it is the real depiction of the victorious Ethiopia.
“Our dam is an Ethiopian dam which doesn’t represent a gender, religion or ethnic group, or color.”
The President said this day is special for many generations of Ethiopians as building a dam on the Nile River was a faraway dream, however, even during those times, both in legend and real history, Ethiopians have always wished and aspired to build a dam on the Nile river. This dam will help us boost cooperation with other Nile basin countries, she said, adding it will open a wide diplomatic door to work with others.
According to GERD project manager engineer, Kifle Horo the third filling is completed. He said that the third filling has been able to hold about 22 billion cubic meters of water and generate two units of turbine electricity, indicating that there is no shortage of water in downstream countries. The construction of the GERD project has generally reached an average of 83.3 percent while the civil construction, electro-mechanical, and water transmission and steelwork works are at 95, 61, and 73 percent respectively.
Since its inception, it has been a point of controversy between Egypt and Ethiopia, with Cairo expressing concern that its bogus “historical share” of the Nile’s waters would be reduced, while Ethiopia says the project is necessary for its national development. Standing 145 meters (over 475 feet) tall and 1,800 meters long, it is capable of holding 74 billion cubic meters (more than 2.6 trillion cubic feet) of water in its reservoir.
The second turbine of the GERD turbine turned on
During the commencement of the second turbine of the GERD on Thursday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the project is designed to catapult Ethiopia into a middle-income country to make it one of the continent’s economic giants. Egypt has lobbied the international community to pressure Ethiopia to slow down the dam completion. But the United Nations Security Council has refused to take a stand. Despite the refusal of the World Bank and others to lend it money, Ethiopia has raised nearly $5 billion from its people. Abiy congratulated the Ethiopians on the step, saying;
“We are proud of being able to make the history that was said to be impossible. Passing through history is an opportunity and making history is a victory.
“Our forefathers wished, thought, planned, but they couldn’t see what we have seen today; they couldn’t stand where we are standing.”
Although the second turbine of the dam has the capacity to produce 375 megawatts, GERD’s Unit 9 will be starting the production of electricity with a capacity of 270 MW of electricity. Unit 10 which was inaugurated last February is currently generating 270 MW of electricity. Combined, the two turbines will produce a total of 540 MW of electricity which is equivalent to the output from Gibe I and II.
In repone to Egypt’s outcry to UN Security Council last month to protest, the Ethiopian Primer said the multi-billion dollar Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a project for the realization of which Ethiopians have invested in sweat, money, and time, with some paying the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty, not to ‘sideline and harm those countries.’
“We have repeatedly told downstream countries, especially Egypt and Sudan, that by generating power we’re developing our economy, as well as (our desire) to see our citizens who live in the dark see light.
“There was no aim to sideline and harm those countries. “They should also understand that Ethiopia has no other purpose than fulfilling its needs for power”
Only 47% of the Ethiopian population has access to electricity, and the new dam will double that figure. The 5,150 megawatts of electricity produced by the new dam are expected to raise $1 billion in annual income from electricity exports to neighboring countries.
Ethiopia first began generating electricity at the dam in February. Currently, the two turbines, out of a total of 13 at the dam, are generating 540 megawatts of electricity. The GERD is ultimately expected to produce more than 5,150 megawatts, more than doubling Ethiopia’s current output.
Tuesday’s announcement comes after Ethiopia completed the first and second phase filling of the dam’s 74-billion-cubic-meter reservoir over the past two years, and has recently started the third filling during the current flood season which lasts until September.
The Unprovoked Egypt Media War
It was remembered as Ethiopia raced to complete work on the largest dam in Africa last year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed his country will not stand to lose “one drop of water” from the Nile River that has been its lifeblood for millennia. As Ethiopia readies to finish work on the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, el-Sisi has apparently ruled out direct military intervention.
Still, many in Ethiopia fear Egypt has a covert hand in the civil turmoil that is roiling their country. The battle for the Nile between Egypt and Ethiopia has moved from veiled military threats to information warfare. Facebook flagged Egypt, asserting that second parties based in Egypt believed to be paid by Egypt are spreading misinformation to turn Ethiopian public opinion against the government.
Facebook has also flagged Ethiopia for its own information campaign. But it said Ethiopia’s social media campaign was aimed at influencing the domestic audience in Ethiopia to support the dam.
Egypt also targeted Sudan, where the Nile flows before moving on into the delta that feeds Egypt and generates electricity. The info war by Egyptian sources targeting Sudan warned the dam could crack and flood their homes and farmland, according to Facebook.
The latest crisis has been brewing for 10 years. That’s when Ethiopia broke ground on the nearly $5 billion building project. It will be the largest dam on the African continent and the seventh largest in the world. The hydroelectric dam will double Ethiopia’s electricity output, enough to power itself and its neighbors, including Egypt.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is an affirmation of Ethiopia’s commitment to equitable and reasonable utilization of the Abbay River, it was indicated. The dam is an anchor project for cooperation in the region and will have a paramount contribution to the economic integration in the region.