Ethiopia inaugurates 420 MW hydropower project

(APA-) Ethiopia on Wednesday inaugurated a 420 MW hydro electric power project-Gilgel Gibe II built at a cost of approximately 323 million euro.

The inauguration was attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and visiting Italian Foreign affairs minister, Franco Frattini.

According to Ethiopian electric Power corporation (EEPCo), the new hydro-power station will increase the generating capacity of Ethiopia by 30-40%.

“This project will use the water discharged by the Gilgel Gibe I plant, channeled through a 26km tunnel under Fofa mountain, to Omo River Valley where it will harness 500 meter drop to generate 420 Mega Watts,” said EEPCo.

The project was undertaken by Italian company, Salini construction with over 2,100 Ethiopians and professionals from 30 countries participating in the project.

It was reported that the Italian government provided a loan of 220 million euro towards the project while the rest covered by the government. The construction took five years to be completed.

Ethiopia is currently investing billions of dollars on new hydro electric projects, which will help the country supply power to neighboring Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti towards the end of the year or early 2011.

The two countries have already signed an agreement with Ethiopia

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