2 September 2009 - In a recent test trial, one of Africa’s largest arch dams, the Tekeze Dam, began generating power in northern Ethiopia.

More than 180 meters tall, the dam on the Tekeze River has a capacity of 300 MW and is expected to play a vital role in meeting the country’s growing demand for electricity. The Tekeze project generated 75 MW from one of its four turbines in the test run. Commercial production is expected to begin in a few weeks.

The US$224 million project is a joint venture of Sinohydro, China Gezhouba Water and Power Group, and Sur Construction.

Ethiopia is building two other hydropower projects – 420-MW Gilgel Gibe 2 and 435-MW Beles – in hopes of generating revenue by exporting the excess power. Last year, the African Development Fund approved US$32.5 million to help fund construction of a transmission link between Ethiopia and Djibouti.