Environmental, social assessment sought for 1,870-MW Gibe 3 in Ethiopia

The European Investment Bank (EIB) invites applications for pre-qualification to perform environmental and social impact assessments of the 1,870-MW Gibe 3 hydroelectric project being built on Ethiopia’s Omo River. Responses are due August 31, 2009.

Salini Costruttori SpA of Italy is building Gibe 3 (previously called Gilgel Gibe 3) under an engineering-procurement-construction contract with Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. The World Bank named Mott MacDonald of the United Kingdom, Sogreah of France, and AG Consult of Ethiopia in 2008 to perform an economic, financial, and technical assessment.

The US$1.75 billion project, 240 kilometers southwest of the Addis Ababa, includes a 240-meter-tall rockfill dam, tunnel, distribution and water diversion works, and a powerhouse.

EIB, which is financing the project with the World Bank and African Development Bank, seeks consultants to review previous work in regard to environmental and social aspects and to address areas that have not been covered sufficiently. It said an important element of the study is the downstream and cross-border environmental and social impacts of Gibe 3 on the Lower Omo Delta and Lake Turkana. It said comments from the public so far need to be taken into account.

The study is to be coordinated with the World Bank-funded study as well as another study of project effects on Lake Turkana.

The budget for the environmental and social impact assessments is 300,000 euros (US$425,000). Work is expected to begin in November. EIB said it might extend the project in duration and scope.

Pre-qualification applications must be submitted using a standard form available from the European Union Internet site at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/procedures/implementation/services/index_en.htm.

Applications, in English, are due by mail, courier, or hand delivery to the address below by 5 p.m. Central European Time, August 31. A short list of four to eight firms is to be invited in September to submit bids within 35 days.

For information, contact Stefan Kerpen, Head of Technical Assistance Unit, European Investment Bank, OPS B/DEAS/Technical Assistance Unit, 100 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer, L-2950, Luxembourg; (352) 437982916; E-mail: cerri@eib.org.

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