Artist’s impression
of the Great Millenium
Dam
 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 04 May 2011 – The government of Ethiopia has announced plans to develop the largest hydro-electric power project in Africa, and has selected an Italian-based company to construct the project, news agencies reported.

The reports reveal that the Ethiopian Power Corporation has selected Salini Construttori Spa “’ a Rome-based construction company in Italy “’ to build the ‘Great Millenium Dam’  for close to US$5 billion.

The dam will be constructed on the Nile River just 40km from the border of Sudan. It is estimated that the hydro project will eventually produce 5,250MW of electricity. The first 700 MW are due to come online by 2015.

The Ethiopian government plans to fund the entire project, citing difficulties in sourcing money from multilateral banks for its dam projects in the past, the Addis Fortune newspaper reported.

The dam is projected to cost about US$4.76 billion, or 95% of the government’s budget for this fiscal year, reports indicate.