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Ethiopia Completes Third Filling of its Mega-dam Reservoir on the Blue Nile

The announcement on Friday comes a day after Ethiopia said it had launched power production from the second turbine at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The enormous $4.2bn dam has been at the centre of a regional dispute ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the mega project in 2011. Addis Ababa contends the dam is essential saying it will enable the distribution of electricity to its population of more than 110 million. The Renaissance Dam is also the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, with a projected capacity of 6,500 megawatts. Ethiopia first began generating electricity from the GERD in February. Currently, the two turbines, out of a total of 13, have a capacity to generate 750 megawatts of electricity. The Nile – which at some 6,000km is one of the longest rivers in the world – is an essential source of water and electricity for dozens of countries in East Africa. The Nile Basin river system flows through 11 countries. The Blue Nile and White Nile merge in Sudan before flowing into Egypt and onto the Mediterranean Sea.