Ethiopia brings in the Chinese to speed up work on Nile dam

Ethiopia is hoping to speed up the work on the Grand Renaissance Dam. One year after the government cancelled the contract with a local consortium that supposedly did not deliver the turbines for the project, two Chinese companies have been hired to finish the job as scheduled before – in 2020.  

AfricaNews reports that last year, Ethiopia cancelled the contract of a state-run military conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), to build the dam’s turbines. At that time, not a single turbine was operational, more than seven years after the government had awarded the contract. 

In a bid to accelerate the pace of construction, the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has contracted the services of two Chinese companies. It signed $40-million contract with China Gezhouba Group Co., Ltd (CGGC). This company will handle the pre-commissioning activities at the dam. Another contract worth $113 million was signed with Voith Hydro Shanghai. This company supplies the electrical, mechanical, and various civil/structural works required. 

The 6,000-megawatt Grand Renaissance Dam is designed to make Ethiopia Africa’s biggest power exporter. The dam has already caused some controversy, as Egypt fears the project will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from the Nile river. 

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