The 44 meter arch dam, the biggest of its kind in Africa, is set to generate 300 MW of power. It started production of 75MW this week as a test trial.
The dam currently has an inflow of almost 80 centimeters of water every day.
The almost three billion birr project is expected to solve the current severe power shortage.
Tekezze is generating 75 MW of power from one of its four generators installed at the site.
EEPCo signed the contract to construct Tekezze on June 7, 2002, with the Chinese National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corporation (CWHEC). The completion date was originally back in 2007 but the dam has been inundated with unforeseen problems.
By Groum Abate
The 2.8 billion birr Tekezze hydro electric power project starts trial power generation this week in the presence of the power utility’s officials.
The dam is expected to help solve the severe power shortage hammering the economy. It started generating 75MW of power from one of its turbines this week and is expected to enter the grid within weeks after the test run is completed.
Tekezze faced a problem in its power house while preparing for the test trial, but that has since been resolved, paving the way for the trial to begin.
Mihiret Debebe CEO of the Ethiopia Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) is in Tekezze to witness the start of the long awaited dam.
Tekezze is one of the three big projects EEPCo has undertaken in recent years along with Gilgel Gibe II and Tana Beles.
Gilgel Gibe II is expected to start generation by mid September.
Tekezze incurred the power utility company hundreds of millions of birr in delays and additional costs.
The project had to negotiate geological problems. Mountains at the site needed to be leveled causing additional cost particularly in the construction of a restraining wall to avoid severe shearing.
The dam has four turbines each with a capacity of generating 75 MW totaling to 300 MW. When completed, Tekezze is expected to add 300MW of much needed power to the national grid, putting generating capacity to a total of 1,170MW.
Ethiopia currently faces a shortage of over 140 MW of power, after water at the currently working dams depleted alarmingly.
The Chinese National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corporation (CWHEC) undertook the construction of the arch dam.
The Tekezze hydroelectric power project has four major sections: construction of an arch dam, power house, transmission line and sub-station.