Ethiopia: 2nd filling of Nile dam due in rainy season

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Sunday that the 2nd filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would be conducted in July and August.

Ethiopia broke ground for its $5 billion flagship hydro dam project in 2011 and original completion year was already overdue by four years. It plans to test two of the hydro scheme’s turbines soon after the second filling, retaining nearly 14 billion cubic meters at the 70bcm capacity reservoir.

Last rainy season, the Horn of Africa country held 4.9bcm for its hydro dam – a mega dam that is capable of generating 6,475 megawatts of electricity. The GERD is solely constructed through domestic mobilization of funds and is expected to fill in the yawning gap in the demand-supply of energy for domestic and industrial use.

Ethiopia also hopes to generate much needed foreign currency from the sale of electricity to neighboring countries.