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Gilgel Gibe III hydropower project was officially inaugurated by Prime Minster Hailemariam Dessalegn on Saturday, December 17. The construction of the dam, which has the capacity of generating 1,870 MW, was undertaken by Salini Impregio SpA. It took nine years and consumed more than USD 1.5 billion. 60 percent of the project’s cost was covered by a loan obtained from Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank of China). The rest 40 percent was covered by the Ethiopian government. Gilgel Gibe III will nearly double Ethiopia’s total electricity output to 4,238 megawatts (MW). Under the second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan, Addis Ababa wants to raise its electrical output to 17,346 MW by harnessing hydropower, the wind and geothermal sources. The government has an array of projects under construction, including the USD 4.1 billion Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam that will churn out 6,000 MW upon completion, which is also being built by Salini.