Ethiopia’s 420MW Gilgel Gibe II hydro power project was officially inaugurated yesterday in a ceremony attended by foreign and Ethiopian government officials, media and business leaders.
The plant is currently the largest hydro scheme in Ethiopia. It features 4 x 105MW pelton units, a 26km TBM tunnel, penstocks and surface powerhouse. The project was built by Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori, designed by Studio Pietrangeli, with engineering supervision by ELC- Electroconsult.
The third phase of the project on the Omo River, Gilgel Gibe III, is currently under construction. Once complete, this scheme is expected to generate 1870MW for Ethiopia, allowing the country to export power to neighbouring regions.
Gilgel Gibe II is the second hydro plant to be inaugurated in Ethiopia over the last few months, with the 300MW Tekeze project officially inaugurated on 14 November 2009.