In the 1960s, the then Hailesellasie I University had a revered professor in engineering, credited for the establishment of the technology faculty at Amist Kilo. However, the German born Yehuda Peter (Prof) is remembered for instilling dreams in his engineering students, many of whom are in their 60s today. For over three decades, some of Peter’s students have been turning into the nation’s finest and most celebrated engineers. <br />Peter inspired a generation of Ethiopian engineers to keep alive his dream and conviction that it is possible to develop vast tracts of fertile land in Afar Regional State and the Ogaden Desert by irrigating it with a network of canals to channel the Abay River. This would require connecting Abay with Awash and Wabi Shebelle rivers, down in the Somali lowlands. Engineers also thought that such a grand project could be of help to upstream countries because it would avoid sedimentation and floods in Sudan, save 10 million metrics of water per year from evaporating from Aswan Dam, and retain a significant portion of unutilized water flowing into the Red Sea. Were this project to be implemented, it would have cost a projected half a billion Birr at the time, according to one of Peter’s students.<br />However, the dream has remained unrealized for more than a generation. Ethiopia never tried to take advantage of its natural endowments from the Nile Basin, primarily due to its inability to finance projects and geopolitical concerns over Egypt’s reaction.<br />Yet, this has changed, according to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi;<br />“… the Millennium Dam will not only provide benefits to Ethiopia but also offer mutually beneficial opportunities to Sudan and to Egypt. Indeed, one might expect these countries to be prepared to share the cost in proportion to the gains that each state will derive. On this calculation, Sudan might offer to cover 30 per cent and Egypt 20 per cent of the costs of the entire project. Unfortunately, the necessary climate for engagement, based on equitable and constructive self-interest, does not exist at the moment. Indeed, the current disposition is to make attempts to undercut Ethiopia’s efforts to secure funding to cover the cost of the project. We have, in fact, been forced to rely on our own savings alone to cover the expense.<br />The estimated cost will be 3.3 billion Euros, or 78 billion birr. As we will be financing several other projects in our plan, the expense will be an additional and heavy burden on us. All our efforts to lighten this have been unsuccessful, leaving us with only two options. Either to abandon the project or do whatever we must to raise the required funds. I have no doubt which of these difficult choices the Ethiopian people will make. No matter how poor we are, in the Ethiopian traditions of resolve, the Ethiopian people will pay any sacrifice. I have no doubt they will, with one voice, say: “Build the Dam!”<br />As a result the government’s determination to see the building of the largest dam in Africa shows nothing can stop from exercising the rights, and for other dams the country plan to build are less challenging than this as stated by the Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the patriotic speech made on April 2, 2011, at the site of a new dam to be constructed on the Abay River in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State.<br />
Statement of the Problem
Ethiopia is endowed with abundant water resources distributed in many parts of the country however; it has not made significant progress in the field of water resources development during the past four decades. The Ethiopian government has for long recognized that economic progress will depend principally on the development of the hydropower resources of the country. In particular, the exploitation of hydropower potentials was not noticeably successful in spite of being given priority as a major field of national development. <br />Considering the substantial hydropower resources, Ethiopia has one of the lowest levels of per capita electrical consumption in the world. Out of hydropower potential of about 45, 000 MW, until 1997 E.C only about 360 MW (less than 2%), currently 2,000 MW, which is less than 5 %, is being exploited currently. <br />Presently, more than 90% of energy consumed in the country is derived from biomass fuels and is almost entirely used for cooking. The use of these fuels has resulted in massive deforestation and soil erosion. <br />However, there is still a huge gap between the demand and supply side of the modern Ethiopia electric consumption. To alleviate the problem, what has to be done was the daily question of the people and government.<br />
Objectives of the Study
The General Objectives of paper is tries to address what major activities are performed in the Preliminary construction stage of the Ethiopian renascence dam project. Specifically this study is concerned to analyze the following specific objectives: <br />
To show what are the inputs used in the project.
To explain what the processes are used in this preliminary stage of the project.
To find out what out puts are expected in the preliminary stage of the project.
The General aim of the paper is to examine how the theoretical knowledge of operation management is applied in the actual practices and relating what we had learned theoretically with what is happening practically in real situation of the hydroelectric power dam construction project which is being undertaken by the full finance of the Ethiopian People and the Government. As the same time, the paper is significant for different parties like the Ethiopian people, Ethiopian Electric power Corporation, Agencies and other internal and external party who are working, serving and engaged in the construction of the hydroelectric power project. Finally, the paper tries to serve as a reference for further studies in the field of hydroelectric projects. <br />
In organizing the study so as to meet and arrive at its objectives, the researchers will employ the qualitative method of research design particularly descriptive type of research. Since this type of research is aimed at describing the current practice of the project, by employing secondary data from internet, books, magazine, journals, and government reports. <br />
The survey is faced with the following limitations due to;<br />
the stage of the project (premature stage) which lacks information and valuable data
2.1 Hydropower Development in Ethiopia <br />Ethiopia is endowed with abundant water resources distributed in many parts of the country however; it has not made significant progress in the field of water resources development during the past four decades. In particular, the exploitation of hydropower potentials was not noticeably successful in spite of being given priority as a major field of national development. Considering the substantial hydropower resources, Ethiopia has one of the lowest levels of per capita electrical consumption in the world. Out of hydropower potential of about 15,00030,000 MW, only about 360 MW, which less than 2 % has been exploited by 1997. The total production of the above mentioned hydropower plants are 1,469.0 GHz/yr. (1994/1995). <br />Table 1 Hydropower Plants and Installed Capacity <br />Plant System Installed Capacity MW Guaranteed Capacity MW Energy Generation in GWH/year Year of Commission Finchaa HPP ICS1001006161973 Melka Wakena HPP ICS1531484341988 AwashII HPP ICS32261351966 AwashLII HPP ICS32321351974 Koka HPP LCS43.225701960 TisAbbay I HPP ICS11.43.8271964 Total ICS 371.6334.81,417Yadot HPD SCS0.350.3,51.21990 Sor HPP SCS55481990 Dembi HPP SCS0.80.82.81991 Total SCS 6.156.1552Grand Total 377.75340.951,469<br />The agency responsible for electric power in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority (EELPA and recently renamed EEPCO). This Authority is responsible for the investigation, development and subsequent construction of power generation schemes. It is also responsible for the transmission and distribution of electrical energy. <br />The EELPA early operates by two systems, the interconnected (ICS) and the self-contained system (SCS). The ICS were an Installed capacity of 360 MW with six hydropower stations arid two diesel stations formerly contributing 6.5 MW which are then retired. The total energy output capacity of the ICS is about 1600 GWH/year. The ICS were supplies demand centers within an approximate radius of 400 kilometers around Addis Ababa. <br />Supply in the SCS is dominated by diesel generators although there is some small hydropower stations dispersed here and there. The generating capacity of the SCS were about 30 MW and the load centers served are dispersed mostly in the border power schemes were commissioned in Ethiopia. Ever since hydropower development started in Ethiopia, a total of 366.2 MW capacity in the ICS and 16.5 MW (Tis Abay and Sor) in the SCS had been installed. Besides small stations such as Dembi, Yadot and Chemoga have also been in operation. <br />The Aba Samuel plant has been inoperative since 1970. In addition three small hydropower stations around Jimma, Debre Birhan and Dire Dawa were abandoned due to old age at various points of time. <br />Though efforts are directed towards the development of medium scale hydropower plants in response to a policy decision that electrical capacity deficit would best be addressed by concentrating initially on medium projects, the Gilgel Gibe (180 MW capacity) projects construction program which has long been delayed has now come into the picture. The tunneling works are presently out for tender whilst the major components of the project works are awaiting the outcome of the pre qualification of potential contractors. <br />3. Projects Identified for Power Development <br />3.1 The Hydropower Potential of Ethiopia <br />Ethiopia has a vast hydropower potential, which is estimated to be about 15,000 30,000 MW. So far very little percentage (less than 2%) of the vast potential has been harnessed. In order to develop this vast potential of power several projects have been initiated to generate more and more hydroelectric power. <br />Some 300 hydropower plant sites in the whole eight river basins of the country with a total technical power potential of 159,300 Gwh/year have been identified. Out of these potential sites, 102 are large scale (more than 60 MW) and the rest are small (less than 40 MW) and medium scale (4060 MW) hydropower plant sites (See Table 1.2). <br />3.1.1 Large Scale Hydropower Projects <br />The favorable sites for Large Scale Hydropower Development Scheme within nver basins of Ethiopia number 102 and are fairly distributed throughout the width and breadth of the country. As the development of these schemes requires huge investment, they are not in the priority list by the government. Nevertheless, projects like Gilgel Gibe (180 MW) hydropower projects are presently under construction, and it is assumed, when commissioned, would alleviate the current critical power shortage to a certain degree. <br />3.1.2 Medium Scale Hydropower Projects <br />The promising and candidate sites for the development of Medium Scale Hydropower Development number 25. From these potential sites three in Tekeze, three in Gojeb and one in the Blue Nile Basin had been selected for studies. <br />Table 3 Development of Hydropower in Ethiopia <br />Name of Hydropower Scheme Year of Commissioning G.C. Installed Capacity (MW) Energy Production GWh/Year Energy Average Firm Aba Samuel 193261.5TisAbay 195311.56855Koka 196043.211080Awash II 196632165120Awash III 197132165120Fincha 1973100617613Melka Wakena 1989153560440Sor 199056048Smaller Stations 1.15541,705 1480 <br />In 1995 a reconnaissance level study on the hydropower potential of the rivers Tekeze and Gojeb were carried out for the selected sites in each basin. The study evaluated the three schemes in response to a policy decision that the electrical capacity deficit would best be addressed by concentrating initially on medium scale projects. In the study, the three schemes were ranked according to the unit energy cost which in turn were based on estimate of construction and environmental costs and of the comparative value of the energy benefits. The report finally recommended that two sites in each basin be selected for further studies. <br />Presently, following the outcome of the prefeasibility and feasibility reports conducted in September 1996; detail designs are being conducted for one bestrecommended site in each river basin. <br />The Tis Abbay II (67 MW) hydroelectric project was also studied to a reconnaissance level among other medium capacity hydroelectric projects which are considered for an urgent development, as a means to quickly solve the need for additional generation capacity in the interconnected power system. Tis Abbay II was identified by preliminary reconnaissance studies as the project to be developed as a first priority, due to its economic attractiveness, and to its short expected duration of construction. <br />The Tis Abbay II power plants take the advantage, as much as possible of the recently completed regalating Chara Chara Weir which is capable to discharge around 110 m3/sec for the minimum operating level. This weir which is 2 to 3 meter high is used for establishing a permanent pond in which the water is taken for feeding the power plant through inlet channel. <br />And thus, Tis Abbay II project, because no darn is required to regulate flows or to provide the generating head, is likely to provide electrical energy at a lower unit cost than other potential schemes in the program. For this reason, and also because of its strategic location with respect to the northern electrification program, Tis Abbay II is likely to be the most attractive of all the schemes and the first to be constructed and commissioned. <br />Presently, the Tis Abbay II Project Construction works are out for tender and construction is expected to commence in November 1997. <br />3.1.3 Small Scale Hydropower Projects The potential for small Scale Hydropower development are immense and amount to 173 in number. The development of these potentials needs also to be given special attention and encouraged along with the Medium Scale Hydropower Schemes especially in the rural areas of the country. Ways and means should, therefore, be sought and facilitated in harnessing small hydropower resources in Ethiopia even if it is not encompassed within the top priority lists. These are areas where private participation should be filly supported and encouraged in developing these untapped resources without any limitations. <br />3.2 Geothermal Power Potential <br />Many locations within in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley may provide natural super heated steam may be obtained through drilling. The potential of this steam for generating thermal power has been recommended and proved to be attractive. <br />The geothermal potential of Ethiopia been estimated at about 4000 MW. This is said to be the highest potential for any country identified so far in Africa. The economic contribution that this resource might make to the energy economy of Ethiopia is expected to be great but needs to be studied and looked into in detail in a coordinated manner with other forms of energy. <br />4. Power Generation of Ethiopia <br />4.1 On Going Programs and Future Plans <br />4.1.1 Present Power Generation <br />Ethiopia has not made significant progress in the field of water resources development during the past four decades. In particular, the exploitation of hydropower potential was not noticeably successful. <br />The total existing installed power capacity (EELPA) is 417.75 MW, of which 377.75 MW is in hydropower plants and 40 MW in thermal plants (Table 1.1) <br />About 10% of the electric energy consumed in the entire country are generated by diesel fuel engines thus draining the meager foreign exchange of Ethiopia. <br />Table 4 Ongoing and Planned Hydropower Programs <br />Name of Project Proposed Years of Service Energy (GWh/year) Average Firm Remarks Gilgel Gibe 1997 2002 864 670 Under Construction Chemoga Yeda 1998 – 2015 3031 2526 Prefeasibility level Upper Beles 19982015 1617 1100 Advanced identification Halel IWerabessa 1998 2015 1475 1180 Identification level Aleltu 1998 2015 3550 3484 Prefeasibility level Tekeze 1998 – 2002 981 Design level Gojeb 1998 – 2012 364 Works out for tender Tis Abay II 1998 1998 359 Total 10,664 <br />Future Plan For Hydropower Developments <br />The annual consumption of electricity in 1995 was 1670 Gwh, equivalent to 30 kwh/capita. The installed capacity is currently 417.75 MW (377.75 MW + 40MW) of which 90% is provided by hydropower. The present capacity deficit is estimated to be about 300 MW. This indicates that power generation needs to grow at an annual rate of about 10% to reach an approximate target of around 1600 MW by the year 2000, an increase in capacity of some 600 MW, to sustain economic development and to fulfill the domestic needs of the Ethiopian people. Lists of ongoing and future plan for hydropower development of Ethiopia through 199720 15 are presented in Table 4. <br />This program should be taken seriously because it is strongly contended that the country could face severe shortage of hydroelectric energy for many years to come. To transform this program into reality all the required supports should be provided to achieve tangible and practical results<br /> <br />The electric power generation capacity (5,430MW) of Churchill Falls in Canada is only 180MW larger than that of Ethiopia’s Millennium Dam.<br />The idea of building Africa’s largest dam in the village of Guba, located 17km from the Sudanese border, dates back to when Peter was stirring passion among his students about the national dream of utilising the waters of the Abay River.<br />Almost half a century ago, Emperor Haile Selassie asked a young Pitra Angle (Eng), who is now 77, to study the possibilities of developing the Abay Basin, which is estimated to have the potential to generate a total of 10,000MW of electricity.<br />“I first came to this area back then,” Angle, who has been at Salini for 50 years, told Fortune last week while showing off the acacia trees in the gorge between Lebiyat and Neqor mountains.<br />Neither is the company new to Ethiopia. Salini Costuttori first built the Legedadi Dam half a century ago; a photo taken during its inauguration still sits on a desk in the Rome office of Pietro Salini (PhD), the eldest child of the company’s founder who is aged 82.<br />“It was a different Ethiopia,” said Salini, now managing director of the 75-year old company, following his father’s retirement.<br />Ethiopia has become more assertive since then. Meles alluded to this in claiming that his administration’s exercise in using Ethiopia’s right to develop its waters “shows no malice to any of our neighbours.”<br />“Among the concerns we factored in when we made the decision to build the Nile Dam with our own resources was to avoid any negative consequences for our neighbours,” Meles said before he laid the foundation stone alongside the river at a temperature of close to 40 degrees centigrade, while bulldozers were unearthing the hills to his right.<br />The project has been on the drawing board for some time. The site was first identified as suitable for a mega project back in 1966. The original plan was to generate 2,000MW of power, and used to be known as “the border project” during the time of the Emperor, according to Angle.<br />The design took him close to seven years to complete, a period he described as “very stressful.”<br />Estimated to cost close to 4.7 billion dollars, the idea of building a dam with the potential to generate 5,250MW was on the drawing board of the state owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), under a code name of “Project X.” The project was baptised the Millennium Dam only recently, after the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract was signed with Salini in November 2010, with Metal Engineering Co. as the subcontractor for the dam’s electromechanical components.<br />However, many are critical of the decisions of the government in awarding expensive contracts to Salini without administering competitive international bidding to select the best candidate. Such were the modus operandi the corporation followed when it awarded Gilgel Gibe II and III, with generation capacities of 420MW and 1,870MW, respectively, as well as Tana Beles Dam with 460MW.<br />“The results from these projects show compelling evidence on the success of the APC model,” said Meheret Debebe, the longest serving CEO of EEPCo.<br />The main contractor to build the Millennium Dam is committed to complete the project within seven years. However, the plan is to start generating electricity from three of the 15 turbines as early as September 2014, according to Kifle Horo, one of the project managers assigned to the dam by EEPCo.<br />If EEPCo management is, for the first time, assigning two of its senior and most experienced engineers to manage one project, it is due to its sheer size, a close observer of the company told Fortune.<br />Located 700km west of Addis Abeba, the Millennium Dam will have two powerhouses with 10 turbines on the left side of the river bank and an additional five on the other side, each generating 350MW at a time. This is equal to the combined capacity of Tis Abay I and II, Koka, Melka Wakena, as well as Awash I and II dams.<br />While all nine dams in operation may not possess 35pc of the generation capacity of the new dam, the amount of money it will cost to build the latter is close to double of what it took to build all the others.<br />The dam will have a height of 145 metres, shorter than Tekeze Dam by 43 metres, while it will stretch 1,800 metres wide. Once completed, the dam is designed to hold 63 billion cubic metres of water, making this manmade lake twice the size of Lake Tana, the source of the river on which the dam is to be built.<br />“It is the largest dam we could build at any point along the Nile, or any other river,” Meles told those gathered to see him launch the project, including a few of his cabinet ministers and party leaders.<br />Building a dam of this size and proportion “is evidence of the government’s determination and vision incorporated in the transformation plan,” according to Mehiret.<br />The determination of the administration overcame more than 50 years of insufficient domestic funding and international lobbies against such plans by countries like Egypt.<br />“It is still attempting to undercut Ethiopia’s efforts to secure funding to cover the cost of the project,” Meles grumbled last week.<br />A few months ago, leaders in Egypt wrote letters urging donors and multilateral financial institutions not to provide funding for the project, the Prime Minster alleged.<br />Not only has this worked to keep these financiers at bay, it also compelled rather generous countries such as China, which recently withdrew its financing from the Chomoga Project, disclosed reliable sources.<br />Frustrated by these developments, a determined Meles turned to domestic sources for the finance. He embarked upon an ambitious project of persuading the nation to start a new culture of national savings.<br />“We are so convinced of the justice of our cause, so sure of the strength of our arguments, so convinced of the role of our hydropower projects in eliminating poverty in our country that we will use every ounce of our strength and every dime of money we can save to complete our programme,” Meles told delegates two weeks ago in a speech at a forum held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) compound to discuss the future of dams in the world.<br />In the administration’s bid to raise close to 11 billion Br from the public, he offered Ethiopians at home and aboard a Millennium Bond; it has a maturity period of five years and a yield of five per cent. The total cost of the project takes up to 11.5pc of the 769.1 billion Br the government is projected to use to finance public infrastructure projects under the GTP.<br />However, senior officials in the administration see the dam as a crucial component to the success of the plan. The plan to enhance the country’s ability to generate between 8,000MW and 10,000MW of power within the next five years, up from the current nearly 2,000MW, would be unrealistic without the completion of the Millennium Dam.<br />“This project will play a major and decisive role in realising the GTP and the consequent advance towards the eradication of poverty,” said Meles.<br />The reaction from the public was overwhelmingly positive.<br />Almaz Ayelew, 38, is one of the people who are willing to buy these bonds. A mother of two, Almaz works in one of the government offices for a monthly salary of 3,000 Br after paying income tax.<br />Subsequent to the announcement made by Teklewold Atnafu, governor of National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), two days after the official launch of the dam, Almaz went to the head office of Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), on Thursday, April 7, 2011. She bought 3,000 Br worth of bonds instead of the 1,000 Br saving bonds she initially planned to purchase.<br />“It is not because I have enough money for consumption that I locked my 3,000 Br in the bank for five years,” she told Fortune proudly. “I want to see the dam being completed before I die.”<br />Almaz is one of the many enthusiasts who connect emotionally to the building of the dam, but not everyone does it for the sake of patriotism.<br />Sintayehu Lemma, a contractor, is one of the sober people who would like to invest his savings in the bond, but for profit.<br />“I only bought the bond after calculating my return as a businessman,” he told Fortune. “I am not going to buy anything emotionally like most other people. The government is expecting its citizens to do the impossible, all at once.”<br />There are others who would like to see the cost benefit analysis of the dam beyond patriotic fervour. Coupled with security concerns due to how close the dam would be from the border to Sudan, the suitability of the selected site is questioned by some local engineers.<br />The gorge in Aleltu, located not far from Addis Abeba, has a diving slope of 1,000 metres, which would give water a lot more momentum than the elevation in Guba, according to an experienced engineer.<br />The cost of the project is also a subject of worry to some. The Millennium Dam will be a very expensive dam to build when measured in the amount invested for every megawatt it will generate. The 14.85 million Br it will consume per megawatt is cheaper only by half a million Birr, compared to Tana Beles, the most expensive of all dams in the country.<br />Economic pundits are alarmed by the prospect of inflation due to the financing of mega projects such as the dam, which could exacerbate the already stressful situation.<br />Domestic revenues, including grants, are projected to reach at 615.6 billion Br, while public expenditure is expected to reach up to 769.1 billion Br during the lifetime of the GTP. The difference is expected to be filled by local and international loans.<br />If the government fails to obtain foreign aid, it might resort into printing money as an alternative, macroeconomic pundits worry.<br />Known in the West as quantitative easing, printing money is inflationary, according to an economic analyst.<br />There could also be supply-side constraints as a result. The Millennium Dam project will consume an estimated 10 million tonnes of cement before its completion.<br />The construction sector will thus be affected as essential raw materials, like cement, will be consumed by the dam, the economic analyst argued.<br />However, people like Almaz are optimistic about the dam.<br />“The total cost is expensive, but if all Ethiopians save by limiting their needs, I hope it would be manageable,’’ she told Fortune.<br />To his delight, such is the public mood Meles wanted to garner to see his dreams come true.<br />“It is a monument we want to build in recognition of Ethiopia’s move to herald a new beginning,” Meles said last week.<br />Chapter Three<br />2.1 Background<br />On 31 March 2011, a day after the project was made public, a US$4.8 billion contract was awarded without competitive bidding to Salini Construction and the dam's foundation stone was laid on 2 April 2011 by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. A rock crushing plant has been constructed along with a small air strip for fast transportation. Construction is expected to last 44 months when two generators would be operational. Egypt, which lies downstream, opposes the dam which it believes will reduce the amount of water that it gets from the Nile. Zenawi argues, based on an unnamed study, that the dam would not reduce water availability downstream and would also regulate water for irrigation. <br />2.2 Design of the project<br />The dam will be a 145 m (476 ft) tall; 1,800 m (5,906 ft) long gravity-type composed of roller-compacted concrete and will have two power houses, each on either side of the spillway. The right power house will contain ten 350 MW Francis turbine-generators while the left will contain five. Supporting the dam and reservoir will be a 5 km (3 mi) long and 50 m (164 ft) high saddle dam. The dam's reservoir will have a volume of 63,000,000,000 m3 (51,074,931 acre·ft).<br />2.3 Cost and financing<br />The Ethiopian government has stated that it intends to fund the entire cost of the dam by itself. It has issued a bond targeted at Ethiopians in the country and abroad to that end. The turbines and associated electrical equipment of the hydropower plants costing about US$1.8 billion are reportedly financed by Chinese banks. This would leave US$3 billion to be financed by the Ethiopian government through other means. The estimated US$4.8 billion construction cost, apparently excluding the cost of power transmission lines, corresponds to more than 15% of Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product of US$31 billion in 2009.<br />Benefits<br />.<br />A major benefit of the dam will be hydropower production. The electricity to be produced by the hydropower plant is to be sold in Ethiopia and to neighboring countries including Sudan and possibly Egypt. Selling the electricity from the dam would require the construction of massive transmission lines to major consumption centers such as Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa and Sudan’s capital Khartoum, both located more than 400km away from the dam. These sales would come on top of electricity that is expected to be sold from other large hydropower plants that are under construction in Ethiopia, such as Gilgel Gibe III<br />Environmental and social impacts<br />No environmental and social impact assessment for the dam has been published so far. It is not clear if one has been undertaken or is underway. This makes it difficult to quantify the positive and negative impacts of the dam. However, a qualitative assessment of the positive and negative social and environmental impacts of the dam is attempted below. Public consultation about dams in Ethiopia is affected by the political climate in the country. The NGO International Rivers reports that “conversations with civil society groups in Ethiopia indicate that questioning the government’s energy sector plans is highly risky, and there are legitimate concerns of government persecution. Because of this political climate, no groups are actively pursuing the issues surrounding hydropower dams, nor publicly raising concerns about the risks. In this situation, extremely limited and inadequate public consultation has been organized” during the implementation of major dams.<br />Impact on Ethiopia<br />Since the Blue Nile is a highly seasonal river, the dam would reduce flooding downstream of the dam, including on the 40km stretch within Ethiopia. On the one hand, the reduction of flooding is beneficial since it protects settlements from flood damage. On the other hand, it can be harmful, if flood recession agriculture is practiced in the river valley downstream of the dam since it deprives fields from being watered. The dam could also serve as a bridge across the Blue Nile, complementing a bridge that was under construction in 2009 further upstream. The dam will affect the livelihoods of people living in the area upstream of the dam that will be flooded by the reservoir. The Benishangul-Gumuz Region is not densely settled, with only 12 inhabitants per square kilometer on average, including many nomads.<br />Impact on Sudan and Egypt<br />The reservoir volume is about equivalent to the annual flow of the Nile at the Sudanese-Egyptian border (65.5 billion cubic meter). This loss to downstream countries would occur only once and would be most likely be spread over several years while the reservoir fills. However, it will still affect downstream countries in a way that is not negligible. Evaporative losses from the dam’s reservoir will permanently reduce the flow of the Blue Nile. The magnitude of these losses is not known. Ethiopian sources point out that both the area of the reservoir and the evaporation rate will be smaller than for Lake Nasser in Egypt. Ethiopia's Minister of Water and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, claims that by storing more water in the reservoir of the Millennium Dam and less water in Lake Nasser, "more than 7.5 billion cubic meters of water could be saved from evaporation". At the same time the hydropower plant would be able to produce more than twice as much electricity as the Aswan High Dam (5,250 MW vs. 2,100 MW). The dam would retain silt. It would thus increase the useful lifetime of dams in Sudan – such as the Roseires Dam, the Sennar Dam and the Merowe Dam – and of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. The beneficial and harmful effects of flood control would affect the Sudanese portion of the Blue Nile, just as it would affect the Ethiopian part of the Blue Nile valley downstream of the dam. Nevertheless, Sudan Egypt have serious concerns about the project; Egypt has requested that it be allowed to inspect the dam, in order to allay its fears, but Ethiopia has denied the request unless Egypt relinquishes its veto on water allocation.<br />There is no international treaty for the sharing of the waters of the Blue Nile between Ethiopia on the one hand and Sudan and Egypt on the other hand. A 1959 Nile treaty between Egypt and Sudan does not include Ethiopia. A Nile treaty signed by the upper riparian states in 2010, the Cooperative Framework Agreement, has not been signed by either Egypt or Sudan. The Nile Basin Initiative provides a framework for dialogue among all Nile riparian countries.<br />
References<br />^ "Ethiopia’s biggest dam to help neighbours solve power problem". News One. 17 April 2011. http://www.inewsone.com/2011/04/17/ethiopias-biggest-dam-to-help-neighbours-solve-power-problem/43904. Retrieved 17 April 2011. <br />^ "Ethiopia lays foundation for Africa’s biggest dam". ERTA News. 2 April 2011. http://www.ertagov.com/erta/erta-news-archive/38-erta-tv-hot-news-addis-ababa-ethiopia/574-ethiopia-lays-foundation-for-africas-biggest-dam.html. Retrieved 19 April 2011. <br />^ a b "Salini will build the biggest dam in Africa". Salini Construttori. 31 March 2011. http://www.salini.it/index.php/english/content/show_news/77. Retrieved 17 April 2011. <br />^ a b "Ethiopia Launched Grand Millennium Dam Project, the Biggest in Africa". Ethiopian News. 2 April 2011. http://www.ethiopian-news.com/ethiopia-launched-grand-millennium-dam-project-the-biggest-in-africa/. Retrieved 17 April 2011. <br />References <br />Tekeze Medium Scale Hydropower Development. Reconnaissance Study, August 1995. <br />Gojeb Medium Scale Hydropower Development. Reconnaissance Study, August 1995. <br />Tekeze River Basin Integrated Development. Master Plan Project, Main Report, October 1995. <br />Medium Scale Hydropower Development Program, January 1995. <br />Ethiopia, Issues and Option in the Energy Sector, March, 1984. <br />Water Resources Development Master Plan for Ethiopia, WAPCOS, 1995. <br />The article appears in the publication of the EACE (Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers) who owns the copyright. All due acknowledgements and copyright belong to EACE (POBox 20930, Code 1000, Addis Ababa) <br />^ Belete, Pawlos. "Great Millennium Dam moves Ethiopia". Capital Ethiopia. http://www.capitalethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14459:great-millennium-dam-moves-ethiopia&catid=12:local-news&Itemid=4. Retrieved 19 April 2011. <br />^ a b c d "Meles Launches Millennium Dam Construction on Nile River". New Business Ethiopia. 2 April 2011. http://www.newbusinessethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=466:meles-launches-millennium-dam-construction-on-nile-river&catid=35:trade&Itemid=12. Retrieved 19 April 2011. <br />^ "Egypt Stays Opposed to Ethiopia’s Grand Millennium Dam Project". EZega. 11 April 2011. http://www.ezega.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?Page=heads&NewsID=2847. Retrieved 19 April 2011. <br />^ The Economist:The River Nile:A dam nuisance. Egypt and Ethiopia quarrel over water, April 20, 2011, Retrieved on April 24, 2011 <br />^ International Rivers: What Cost Ethiopia’s Dam Boom?, February 2008, p. 13-14, Retrieved on April 25, 2011 <br />^ Daily Ethiopia:Longest Ever Bridge In Ethiopia Under Construction, December 31, 2009, Retrieved on April 25, 2011 <br />^ See population density figures shown in Regions of Ethiopia. <br />^ "The dam speech". Grand Millennium Dam. 2 April 2011. http://grandmillenniumdam.net/the-dam-speech/. Retrieved 26 April 2011. <br />^ "Ethiopia won't allow inspection of dam, but ready to negotiate with post-Mubarak Egypt". Almasry Alyoum. 23 April 2011. http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/409918. Retrieved 27 April 2011. <br />^ Ashenafi Abedje, Voice of America:Nile River Countries Consider Cooperative Framework Agreement<br />.<br /> <br />CountryEthiopiaLocaleBenishangul-Gumuz RegionStatusPreliminary constructionConstruction beganApril 2011Construction cost$4.8 billion USDOwner(s)Ethiopian Electric Power CorpDam and spillwaysType of damGravity, roller-compacted concreteHeight145 m (476 ft)Length1,800 m (5,906 ft)ImpoundsBlue Nile RiverReservoirCreatesMillennium ReservoirCapacity63,000,000,000 m3 (51,074,931 acre·ft)Power stationCommission dateSeptember 2014 (planned)Turbines15 x 350 MW Francis turbinesInstalled capacity5,250 MWNet generation15,000 GWh (planned)<br />