About GERD

Get to know the backstory of Ethiopia’s latest groundbreaking achievement

Key Facts about GERD


In March 2011, a contract was signed with Salini Impreglio S.p.A to build the Grand Renaissance Dam, locally known as ‘Hidase Gidib' - then known as the Millennium Dam, with a budget of US$4.8 billion. Shortly after, in April, the foundation stone was laid officially commencing the beginning of the dam’s construction. Today, the construction of the dam has reached over 80 percent completion rate, with over 90 percent of the civil work and about 55 percent of the electromechanical and high steel structure works completed. The second water filling of the dam was successfully completed on July 19, 2021. 


The primary purpose of GERD is to generate electricity. However, it has also other benefits such as fishing resource development, shipping transport, reducing carbon emission to the environment, and regulating the flow of water and reducing the risk of flooding to downstream countries


1. Total installed capacity of about 15,759 GWh average annual energy production

2. The dam discharges about 1,547 m3 water per second.

3. The reservoir area will cover 1,874 square kilometres and will hold a maximum water amount of 640 meters above sea level and a minimum water amount of 590 meters above sea level minimum

4. The Saddle Dam embankment is 5.2km long and 50m high

5. The total water storage capacity is 74 billion cubic meters.


The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is located in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, about 730 kms West of Addis Ababa, and about 45 kms east of the border with Sudan.