Country: Ethiopia State: All regions Capacity:  MW
Year:  Client: WAPCOS/EVDSA  Energy:  GWh
Water and Power Consultancy Company (WAPCOS) of Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India selected A.S.Chelvaraj as their hydropower expert for a period of 15 months from August 88 to November 89 to prepare a masterplan for hydropower development plan of Ethiopia. 
Services: The tasks undertaken include  Aerial Surveys, Hydrological Surveys, Project Identification Studies, Regional Development Plans,  Planning Studies,  Economic Studies, Design, Quantity Surveying/Cost Estimating, Technical Assistance and Advisory Studies,  Energy Demand Forecasting, Power System Analysis and Planning, Hydroelectric Power Generation, Low and Medium voltage Power Transmission Systems  and Rural Electrification  
Scope: The study involved identification of small and large hydro project sites, Integration of small, medium and major hydro through optimisation study and Rehabilitation of two power stations. The study covered the   Gojam, Wellga, Shewa, Wello, Gonder, Gamogofa, Sidamo, Shewa, Arsi, Hararge, Balearsi, Keffa, Illubabor, Bale, Wellga, Tigray, Gondorm and Eritrea administrative divisions.         

River Basins: The  approach was based on a detailed examination of topographic sheets, hydrological and geological data for the river basins Abbay (Blue Nile), Awash, Baro-Akobo, Omo, Dindir, Rahad, Gondua, Gilo, Wabi Shebelle, Tekeze-Atbara, Genale, Weyib, Dawa including the rift valley rivers Segen, Gelana, and followed by ground and aerial site visits.  

Background: The master plan was possible mainly due to monumental work done earlier by The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) who concentrated on the Abbay river (Blue Nile) and suggested a series of four dams for hydropower generation at Border, Mendaia, Mabil and Karadobi.

Through a water and energy balance study, the USBR report was modified by the WAPCOS expert to include an original concept for irrigating the water short lands in the Awash Basin utilizing the surplus waters of Abbay (Blue Nile). 

Planning: As the flows contributed by Dabus, Didessa and Guder (tributaries of Abbay) cannot be stored at Mandaia, Mabil and Border due to inadequate storage capacity, it is envisaged to install reversible turbines at Mendaia and Mabil to pump the flows successively upstream to  Karadobi which provides the required storage characteristics.

Inter Basin Transfers: In addition, the wet season flows of Abbay upto Karadobi are stored after utilizing for hydropower generation through a cascade development of the left bank tributaries like Beshilo with reversible turbines. In the dry season these reversible units successively pump water upstream from Karadobi to the dividing ridge between Abbay and Awash basin where it is released to flow into the tributaries of Awash such as Mille. The pumped water could be used for gravity irrigation and power generation by a series of small dams on the tributaries of Awash. The energy generated is twice the quantum used for pumping. Similar transfers were designed between other tributaries of Abbay and Awash basins.

Benefits: This novel and original planning is the only solution for alleviating the sufferings of the people in Awash basin and ten of the fourteen drought prone provinces of Ethiopia. Other benefits include navigation for a distance of 1000km in Abbay (Blue Nile) through the four dams planned by USBR.

Electrification of Awrajas: The study also concentrated on providing electricity economically to Awrajas (districts) through the 300 hydropower sites identified with site code, Latitude, Longitude, discharge, Head, power, Installed Capacity, Energy in kWh, cost and ranking as per increasing cost and confirmed through site visits by land and helicopter. 

The rivers examined for electrification of Awrajas include Awata, Weyib, Awash, Arba, Mereb, Angseba, Agereb, Kaza Wenz, Giamma, Guder, Diddessa, Angar, Gurchana,  Deka,Jilba, Dembi, Dila, Sedeka, Dabus, Dabana, Beles, Dinder, Rahad, Gondua, Atbara, Gilgel Abay, Megech, Baro, Bir Bir, Geba, Gilgel Ghibe, Great Gibe, Omo, Wabe Gojeb, Bilato, Gelana, Segen, Wabi Shebelle, Tekeze, Gilo, Alwero, Chiru, Genale, Dawa, Mormora

Revisions: The  reports were released to Government of Ethiopia (EVDSA) by WAPCOS and extracts of the study results (300 sites with ranking) were provided by SECSD to World Bank on request. The Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority has recently mentioned and outlined the list with 300 sites in an article published on the internet.

 SECSD is anxious for implementation of a few schemes as pilot projects by International Financial Institutions. The updated computerized study developed through R&D by SECSD and supported with mathematical models, CAD drawings and software could be released to any organization.

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