A French company has signed an agreement to accelerate the construction of Ethiopia's multibillion-dollar dam on the Nile, local media reported yesterday.
GE Hydro France, an engine and turbine manufacturing company, signed the deal with Ethiopian Electric Power on Monday. The Ethiopian government earlier cancelled a contract with military-run conglomerate Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) for causing delay in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project by failing to supply electromechanical equipment, including turbines.
Many METEC officials are now standing trial for high-profile corruption.
"Based on the agreement, Hydro France will be paid 53.9 million euros to manufacture, fix and test turbine generators for five power generating units, including the two turbines that were designed to generate power ahead of the full completion of the project," said local broadcaster FANA.
According to FANA, discussions were concluded to sign agreements with Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company, to speed up civil construction work of the dam. A memorandum of understanding was also signed with China Gezhouba Group, a company which had a sub-contract agreement with METEC, to continue its work at the dam.
In a related development, a delegation led by engineer Abraham Belay, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power, visited to see the progress of the project.
On the occasion, Belay said that the government will provide everything necessary to expedite the construction of the dam.