ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has hired China Gezhouba Group to execute the pre-commissioning activities of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), for 40.1 million USD.

EEP also awarded a 113m USD contract to Voith Hydro Shanghai for electrical, mechanical, and various civil and structural works required to finish the GERD.

The moves are intended to “pick up the pace of the dam”, said the EEP in a statement posted on its social media feed. 

China Gezhouba is expected to “work aggressively in partnership with other companies” to complete the project on schedule, EEP chief executive Abraham Belay said.

GERD’s main contractor is Italy’s SaliniImpregilo.

Late last year, official said the delay in electro-mechanical work – which was first given to now-disgraced state-run MeTEC – has forced them to add four more years to the construction schedule.

That company, the military-run conglomerate Metal and Engineering Corporation (Metec), was fired from the project in August over delays to the M&E work, including the turbines.

The dam, when complete, will dramatically increase the country’s power generation capacity, and Ethiopians see it as central to Ethiopia’s development and prestige. – The Daily Monitor