Alstom has signed a €250 million contract with Metals & Engineering Corporation (METEC) to supply turbines and generators for the power plant of the Grand Renaissance hydroelectric dam, located on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. The plant will be operated by EEPCO.
Alstom will supply and supervise the installation of all electromechanical equipment for the plant, including eight 375 MW turbines and eight generators for the first phase. The contract also includes engineering and power plant commissioning. Commissioning will start in late 2013 and take place in successive steps over a three-year-period. In line with the expectations of the Ethopian government, Alstom will oversee a programme to develop locally skills in the area of hydroelectricity.
The dam is a high priority for the Ethiopian government. When completed the power plant, with a total output of 6000 MW, will be the largest hydro project in Africa. Once in operation, it will quadruple Ethiopia's current electricity production caacity. The country is faced with a rapid increase in electricity demand at an annual rat close to 10%. With an estimated potential hydropower production of 35000 MW,Ethiopia aims to become a key regional player in power generation and the leading supplier to neighbouring countries.
Alstom has been active in Africa for 80 years and has been responsible for numerous hydoelectric projects across the continent. In particular, it has supplied Africa's main hydropower plants in Mozambique, Angola, Ghana, South Africa, Sudan and more recently in Uganda.
Two additional contracts are currently under execution by the company - for the supply of turbines and generators for the new Ithezi-Thezi hydro power lant (120MW) in Zambia, and the retrofit of the Inga 2A hydro power plant (72MW) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.