Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Tallest Dam in the world is nearly finished in Ethiopia

Medeshi March 26 , 2009
The Tallest Dam in the world is nearly finished in Ethiopia
The World's tallest dam is under construction in Ethiopia and BBC Special report has extensive coverage on the construction and the controversies surrounding the dam.
By Peter GresteBBC News, Ethiopia
Deep in the gorge country that falls off the Ethiopian plateau, workers in boots and hard hats are hammering, drilling, blasting and digging their way into the mountainside for the foundations of the vast wall that will, when finished, create the second largest hydroelectricity dam in sub-Saharan Africa.
Teams of workers are blasting out the "keyhole" - the slot in the side of the valley that will hold the dam wall in place.
Others are finishing the concrete lining to the last of three 1,000m long tunnels that have already begun diverting the Omo River waters around the main construction site.
The Gibe III dam is under construction on the Omo River, approximately 300km southwest of Addis Ababa. It is the third in a series of cascading hydroelectric projects in the region.
The first, the Gilgel Gibe dam (also called Gibe I), was completed north of the Gibe III dam site in 2004. The Gibe II project is a power plant associated with the Gibe I dam that is still under construction.
The new Gibe III dam is expected to produce 6500 GWh of energy a year, and surplus energy is expected to create 300 million euros (£282m; $407m) in revenue, according to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), the sole provider of power in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia's neighbours, such as Djibouti, Yemen, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt, would all be in a position to purchase the excess energy.
EEPCo sees another benefit of the project in regulating the flow of the river, which floods annually, and thereby making it navigable all year.
The resulting reservoir of approximately 200 sq km would be used as a fishery, according to an environmental and social impact assessment by EEPCo.
Read More from BBC News including Pictures, Video report

1 comment:

Anthony Mitchell said...

Why go to the trouble of building a big dam unless you are confident that it will stay up and perform as expected? Ethiopia is not such a rich country that it can afford to be careless with engineering matters.

The technical and engineering challenges at Gibe III do not align themselves with editorial statements, political parties, ideologies, tribes, or race or nationality. They are not sensitive to quickly worded statements by those who have never studied soil engineering or seismic stability assessment.

If you’ve never read a proper engineering feasibility study, here is a good place to start: the author, I believe Ethiopia should build more dams, but do so properly. Smaller dams are much cheaper, less risky and have less impacts than poorly thought out mega-projects.