Construction of Ethiopia’s $5 billion hydro dam on the Nile would be completed in 2022, it was disclosed during a panel discussion of hydraulic experts and officials.
The experts and officials, according to local broadcaster FANA, acknowledged that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project was launched before carrying out an in-depth study that caused a delay in the completion.
Ethiopia launched the GERD project in May 2011 to generate 6000 MW electricity which it said was badly needed for the country’s development. It also planned to export electricity to countries in the region.
According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, Ethiopia incurred an additional amount of $800 million due to the delay in the project.
According to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the military-based local contractor Metal and Engineering Corporation was to blame for the unnecessary delays in construction as it failed to supply the electro-mechanical equipment as obliged under contract.
In total, 65 percent of construction has been completed, according to the Ministry of Water and Power.
The panel is discussing issues related to public participation in the project, trilateral relations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt; power interconnection (electricity export agreements), among others.
GERD is a project wholly financed by Ethiopians through bond purchases, but recently the military conglomerate, METEC, has been shamed for squandering much of the public funds in a high-level scandal.