GERD Progressing with No Slowdown


November 15/2019 The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) his progressing with no slowdown as ever, Deputy Manager of the project said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Deputy Manager Belachew Kassa said the construction is “going day in and day out” noting that different components of the project are advancing.

Different components of the project such as reinforced concrete (RCC), saddle dam, power house, penstocks, and switch yard are advancing.

The civil construction of the dam with crust length of 1.8km and height of 145 meters, has reached more than 80 percent, Belachew said.

The face slab of the saddle dam, which is Concrete Face Rock Build Dam (CFRD), found to the left of the main dam has already been completed.

Belachew added that to keep the safety of water flow, work has been done within the cup stream side as it is estimated to render the required power generation service up to 100 years.

To do this, Belachew said there are three spillway structures including gateless spillway in the middle of the main dam, gated spillway that can let more than 14 million meter cube water, and emergency spillway in the left side of the saddle dam.

“The right side power house comprising seven units has reached more than 65 percent and the remaining six units which are in the left side of the dam reached over 80 percent. Total status of both power houses has reached over 72 percent while the switch yard has reached 67 percent,” he said.

Belachew said that the steel structure, undertaken by China Gezhouba Group Co. (CGGC), construction and engineering company, exceeds 15 percent.

Sinohydro, a Chinese hydropower engineering and construction company, has already started assembling some of the imported prefabricated steel structures and preparation is underway to begin installation.

GE Hydro France, one of the contractors for installing the turbine generators, is completing assembling the spiral casing for turbines called unit 9 and 10, which are expected to start power generation early Belachew said.

“Welding and testing of unit 10 has already been completed and is ready to be handed over for the civil contractor.”

According to Belachew, the electromechanical work has reached about 29 percent.

Speaking of rumors regarding slowdown of GERD, the Deputy Manager noted “misunderstanding the case, people may tend to suspect that the project is slowing down, this partly can be our mistake for not letting the public know the updated information about it.”

Belachew affirmed that “The work has never slowed down it is going day in and day out” stating that the project is moving towards completion with full potential and capacity as well as serious supervision of every component.

“There is undeniable progress and achievement”, he said, and stressed “our focus is not on what has so far been achieved rather accomplishing the remaining”.

It has been eight years since Ethiopia embarked on one of its mega projects, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), being built on Nile River.

GERD, which will be the largest in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, currently reached 69.7 percent.