ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia has collected 460 million U.S. dollars from the public for the construction of a 6,450 Mega Watts hydro dam on Blue Nile River.
Named Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), located in western Ethiopia, 40 km from Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, it is the largest hydro project in Africa.
Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, Hailu Abraham, Public Relations Head at Office of Ethiopia National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of GERD (NCCPPCGERD), says the 460 million dollars revenue is lower than the 560 million dollars the government had planned to collect from the public so far.
The revenue was earned though various schemes including bond sales, athletic events and lottery draws.
The mega dam, whose construction started in April 2011 at an estimated cost of 4.7 billion dollars, is expected to have a total volume of 74,000 cubic meters upon completion.
Abraham further says with the construction of GERD now about 60 percent complete, the Ethiopian government is preparing to install two 375 MW turbines for test power.
Expected to be completed with entirely domestic funds, GERD has been billed as a landmark project signaling Ethiopia’s renaissance.
Already a high voltage electric transmission line built by State Grid of China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd (SGCC) at a cost of 1 billion dollars has been inaugurated waiting for GERD’s total commissioning to be operational.