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France's Alstom in 250 mln euro turbine deal for Ethiopia dam

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 7 Jan 2013 15:29 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Turbines to generate 3,000 MW of electricity

* Project part of a ${esc.dollar}12 billion power generation scheme

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - France's Alstom has signed a 250 million euro (${esc.dollar}325 million) deal with Ethiopia for turbines and generators for what will become Africa's largest dam, being built along the Nile River, the firm said on Monday.

The Horn of Africa country is building an array of hydro electric projects and has plans to invest more than ${esc.dollar}12 billion in harnessing the rivers that run through its highlands to generate more than 40,000 MW of power by 2035.

The centrepiece of the plan is the ${esc.dollar}4.1 billion-Grand Renaissance Dam in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region. Officials say it is on course for completion by 2015.

"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 company said in a statement.

"The contract also includes engineering and power plant commissioning."

The dam will generate 6,000 MW at full capacity. Officials say more than 15 percent of construction has been completed.

Egypt, dependent on the Nile, has long cast a wary eye on Ethiopia for fear that its dams could reduce the flow. Addis Ababa says the projects will not have an adverse impact. An international panel of experts is set to announce its findings on the impact of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile in four months. (${esc.dollar}1 = 0.7666 euros) (Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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