Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

This majestic project, born of the vision and imagination of Giorgio Pietrangeli, includes the world's largest RCC dam and Africa's largest hydropower plant.

6000 MW Installed Power - 10 millions of m3 of RCC

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is located in Ethiopia, along the Blue Nile River. This huge plant is currently under construction. Once completed, with an installed capacity of 6’000 MW, will double Ethiopian power production. During its construction, a new world record of 23,200 m3 in 24 hof RCC placement has been achieved.


GERD's main challenging features

The project includes the following technical challenges:

  • - River diversion system, with a design flood of about 15’000 m3/s, including the overtopping of the central portion of the RCC dam during the wet season
  • - A roller compacted (RCC) main dam with a maximum height of 175 m and a total volume of about 10.2 Mm3
  • - A concrete faced rockfill saddle dam (CFrd) 60 m high and 5 km long with an embankment volume of about 17 Mm3
  • - A system of three spillways (main gated spillway on the left of the main dam; free-flow stepped spillway on the main dam central section; side channel emergency un-gated spillway on the right abutment of the Saddle dam) to discharge a Probable Maximum Flood of 30’200 m3/s (18’000 m3/s routed discharge)
  • - No. 16 penstocks (8 m diameter) embedded in the dam body. Two of these, at lower elevation, are dedicated to early generation during reservoir impounding

From conception to the supervision of construction for the EPC Contractor

Starting from the its conception and first reconnaissance project, Studio Pietrangeli has carried out all the engineering activities related to this milestone project, including investigations, preliminary design, final design, technical specifications and employer’s requirements. Our team of engineers supervises continuously, both in main office and on site, the construction of the project providing technical assistance and construction design to the EPC Contractor (Salini-Impregilo).


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