THE Ethiopian energy ministry has completed all the transmission installation required to feed electricity generated at the Gibe III hydroelectric plant to the national grid. The plant began electricity generation in 2015, however due to lack of transmission lines connecting the plant to the national grid, operations were limited.
With the completion of the transmission line, the plant is expected to supply 800MW to the national grid with six of the ten turbines operating. The plant has a capacity of 1,870MW that will almost double Ethiopia’s current available capacity. The project will also include transmission lines to supply 500MW to Kenya, 200MW to Sudan and 200MW to Djibouti.
However, pending the completion of the plant’s full capacity and associated transmission network, the plant will only supply Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The project, which was partially financed by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, was a source of major controversy over non-disclosure of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) until two years after construction started. The next phase of the project will be the Gibe IV plant, which will have a capacity of 1,472MW.