The government-funded 300MW project – the single largest public works project in Ethiopia’s history – is expected to provide a reliable, renewable source of power for the country that has been forced to impose regular blackouts for its 80 million residents due to energy shortages.

The project’s design and construction was managed by a joint venture of MWH and Energoprojekt Co. Ltd. The JV started work on the project in 1998, providing design review, preparation of construction drawings, bid packaging and evaluation, and on-site construction management services.

The project features a 188m high double curvature concrete arch dam – the tallest in Africa – as well as an underground powerhouse located approximately 500m downstream from the dam, an intake structure and a 500m long concrete-lined power tunnel. A 230 kV transmission line was constructed to run through rugged, mountainous terrain with minimal environmental impact.

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