Gov’t Striving to Complete Mega Projects Including GERD

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his government is striving to complete construction of mega projects including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) within short period of time.

In a press conference he gave on Saturday, Premier Abiy clued the delay of most mega projects particularly the GERD and sugar industries.

The GERD, set to become Africa's largest hydro power dam with a capacity of 6,450 Megawatt upon completion, is being built at a cost of nearly 4 billion USD wholly financed from local resources.

The project that has been said was going well was expected to start generating power with its two turbines this year, but Prime Minister Abiy clued on his briefing that the construction has delayed.

Abiy said "Let alone finalizing the construction of the dam as per the schedule, the two turbines have not yet been installed the two turbines," explaining the level of delay.

According to reports from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, the first two turbines that are planned to start generating power this year, may not be operational before 2020.

The project that started in 2011 was expected to be accomplished by 2017, despite changes in design and installed power generation capacity.

The civil work of the project is being undertaken by the Italian constructor firm – Salini Impergilo – and the electromechanical work by Metal and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC).

The Prime Minister accused MeTEC, which is undertaking the electromechanical work of the GERD for the delay of the project.

"GERD is not an ordinary project rather it's an iconic flagship project for all Ethiopians; its successful competition can be taken as a yardstick for the national project achievements," the Premier said.

The Premier indicated that the electromechanical work could be awarded to others.

"Therefore, to enhance the pace of the project, the electromechanical work could be outsourced to efficient contractors or companies," Abiy said.

Abiy said the civil work of the project is in good progress while the electromechanical installation expected to be completed by MeTEC remained behind the time.

The Prime Minister stated that a committee has already set up to closely follow the ongoing performance of GERD.

A number of mega projects including sugar industries being undertaken by the government have also delayed.

By 2020, Ethiopia is expected to have 13 huge sugar factories that will increase its annual sugar production in order to meet local demands and improve export, but most of these projects are not yet finalized.

According to the Premier, "immature project management exacerbated by lack of experience and apathetic working culture greatly affected the progress of these projects."

The Premier previously announced before parliament that his government will strive to finalize projects, in which their construction was delayed.

Since these projects need huge finance the government has already decided not to embark on new projects.

August 26/2018(ENA)