Ethiopia dam’s second turbine starts producing power


Ethiopia says a second turbine of a controversial dam over the Blue Nile has started generating electricity.

The $4bn (£3.2bn) mega dam has been a huge source of controversy between the East African country and the two downstream countries Egypt and Sudan that depend heavily on the Nile for their essential water supplies.

It is expected to generate more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity upon completion.

Despite repeated talks, there still hasn’t been a binding agreement among the three countries. It is not clear if they are going to return to the negotiating table soon and whether the latest development will have an impact on that.

Cairo and Khartoum want a deal on the management of water and mitigation of possible drought and were angered that the dam started filling before an agreement was reached.

Ethiopia first began generating electricity in February this year.

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Speaking on Thursday at a ceremony at the site of the dam in the country’s north-west, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said there hasn’t been any impact on the water supplies of the downstream countries.

Ethiopia sees the dam as instrumental in its efforts to electrify tens of millions of households particularly in rural areas across the country. It also plans to export electricity to its neighbours.

The construction of the dam took more than a decade.

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