GERD officially starts power production

The national flagship project of Ethiopia, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam /GERD/officially starts its power production with its two turbines, as of today February 20, 2022, in the presence of high level officials. In the past few weeks the two turbines completed test trials successfully and the power generated entered the national grid.
The dam in its pre power generation is expected to generate 730 MW by operating the first two turbines.
As officials from the Ministry of Water and Energy explained, the power production will cover 20 percent of the nation’s power demand.
The construction of the Dam is still ongoing starting from 2011.
Financed by local sources, the GERD will be capable of producing as much as 5,250 MW of electricity, ranking it as one of the world’s largest dams and by far Africa’s largest dam by electricity production. Currently the overall construction progress of the dam has now reached to 84.2 percent.
Ethiopia has made the second filling in the past rainy season. The country has made a stand on equitable water use on the Abay/Nile River.
The GERD is the source of an almost decade-long diplomatic standoff between Ethiopia and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan.
Despite the downstream countries mainly Egypt expressing its concern on its water flow, Ethiopia strongly reassured that the project would not have harm on others and the country does not have intention to affect others.
To tackle the concerns, the three countries, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt discussed for years, while the negotiation was interrupted majorly from reasons that mainly come from Egypt.
Ethiopia has also been facilitating comprehensive engagements to address the concerns of the riparian countries since the inception of the construction of the GERD.
After discussions on UN Security Council the three countries have come to the AU-led negotiations and perhaps the negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are still suspended since Ethiopia completed the second filling of the GERD.
Ethiopia contributes more than 86 percent of water share for Abay.
With some cooperation and wisdom, it was initially possible that the ambitious GERD project could become both a great development project for the Ethiopian people and a model for cooperation between Ethiopia and its neighbors. Instead, the project has become a constant cause for conflict as the various actors vie for regional hegemony.

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