Italian construction major Salini Impregilo has secured a€2.5bn contract from Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to build a 2,200MW hydroelectric plant in country’s southern Koysha area.

The dam will be built on the lower bank of the Omo River and it is part of the Ethiopian government’s plan to raise power generation capacity to 17,346MW.

The hydroelectric project includes construction of a 170m high rolled compacted concrete (RCC) dam with a reservoir volume is 6000 million cubic metres. It will annually produce 6,460 GWh of power.

The new project along with GIBE III, which went into operation recently and GERD (the Grand Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile, will allow Ethiopia to become a major country in Africa in terms of energy production.

Salini Impregilo said in a statement: "Ethiopia has been rapidly growing for many years now, and will soon become the driving force of the African continent.

"The large infrastructure projects that have characterized the past few years do not only sustain growth, but also contribute to achieving the goal of transforming Ethiopia into Africa’s energy hub.

"As of today, Ethiopia exports energy in Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti, its closest countries. The authorities do not exclude reaching markets like Europe and the Middle East in view of the potential of the hydroelectric plants being built."

In April, the Italian export credit agency, Servizi Assicuative del Commerce Estero (SACE) had agreed to provide financial support for the construction of the dam.

Earlier this month, Fisia Italimpianti, a joint venture of Salini Impregilo, won a €83.9m contract in Turkey to modernise and expand a water treatment plant in Atakoy.

The project, which was awarded by municipal company Istanbul Su ve Kanalizasyon Idaresi (ISKI), will be done by the joint-venture, evenly shared by Fisia and Alkatas.

In September last year, Salini Impregilo had received a $575m contract from JSC Nenskra Hydro for the construction of 280MW Nenskra hydroelectric project in Georgia.

Under the contract, Salini Impregilo was responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the hydroelectric power plant in Svaneti region.

Work under the project includes construction of a main dam, a weir on the Nakra river, a transfer tunnel, a headrace tunnel to the powerhouse and the actual open-air powerhouse with four vertical-axis Pelton turbines.