Geological Phenomena Cost EEPCo 400 Million Birr

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Originally published in Walta Information Center

The two billion birr Tekeze hydro electric power project, faced with a geological phenomena, has incurred the Ethiopia Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) another 400 million birr.Mihiret Debebe, general manager of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), told Capital that the obstacle faced at the site would cost the corporation about 15% of the total project cost.

He said that, despite the huge problem that could be considered as building another dam, the project is expected to be completed before the rainy season that ends in September.

EEPCo signed the contract at the Hilton Hotel on June 7, 2002, with the Chinese National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corporation (CWHEC) for the construction of the dam that is expected to generate 300MW.
Tekezze was meant to start generating power in 2007 but a joint assessment by experts from both EEPCo and the Chinese construction firm forced to reschedule the deadline to the end of 2008.
The Tekeze hydroelectric power project has four major sections: construction of an arch dam, power house, transmission line and sub-station.

Mountains at site leveled down and caused the additional cost for constructing a restraining wall to avoid the shearing of the mountains around the dam.

Arch dams are concrete or masonry structures that curve upstream into a reservoir, stretching from one wall of a river canyon to the other. Such dams require a relatively narrow river canyon with solid rock walls capable of withstanding a significant amount of horizontal thrust.

The manager said that the problem was not shown on the feasibility study and would have an impact on the completion date of the dam. He further said that the construction work is done 24 hours a day to complete the project on time to commission the power plant before this Ethiopian year.

When completed, Tekeze is expected to add 300MW power to the national grid, putting generating capacity to a total of 1,170MW.
CWHEC is one of China's most prestigious electrical engineering companies, having undertaken nearly 80 percent of the large and medium-sized hydropower projects in China. It ranked 136th among the world's Top 225 construction contractors in 1999 and 2000.
CWHEC beat Strabag of Germany, Salini and Imperglio of Italy, Kajima and Enka of Japan, Satcon of Ethiopia, and Skanska and Group 5 of Austria in the bid for the THPP.

EEPCo plans to construct 10 hydro power plants worth over 13.1 billion dollars, in the next 10 years.
Fan, with a capacity of generating 100 MW, Hallele-Werabessa 422-MW, Tekeze II 450-MW, Gibe IV 1900-MW, Genale III 258-MW, Genale IV 256-MW, Geba I & II 366-MW, Karadobi 1600-MW, Boarder 1200-MW, and Mendaya 2000-MW, are planned to be built or launched under the corporation's 25 year master plan.
Furthermore, the corporation has slated a capital of over 128 billion birr for construction of transmission lines.