Picture: Reuters
INTERNATIONAL – Ethiopia plans to commission the Chinese-built 254 megawatts (MW) Genale Dawa III hydro dam before the end of 2019, an Ethiopian official said on Saturday.

Moges Mekonen, Communication Director at Ethiopia Electric Power, said the dam being built by the China Gezhouba Group Corporation is expected to be commissioned before the end of 2019.

Mekonen said once the 254 MW dam project is commissioned, it's expected to fill a critical gap in Ethiopia's ongoing efforts to meet the energy needs of the country's estimated 105 million people. The Genale Dawa III hydro project located in southeastern Ethiopia is being built at a cost of around 450 million USdollars.

The Ethiopian government plans to increase its electricity generation capacity from the current 4,200 MW to about 17,300 MW by 2020 using hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass and solar energy.

The energy sector is one of Ethiopia's priorities as the country envisages to become a light manufacturing hub in Africa and middle-income economy by 2025. 

XINHUA