Environmental study qualifying begins for 1,870-MW Gibe 3 in Ethiopia

The European Investment Bank (EIB) invites applications for pre-qualification from firms to perform additional environmental and social impact assessments of the 1,870-MW Gibe 3 hydroelectric project being built on Ethiopia’s Omo River. Responses are due April 28.

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. It took bids in November 2009 for five lots of equipment including turbine-generators for the project. (HydroWorld 8/31/09)

EIB seeks contractors to perform an environmental and social impact assessment of Lake Turkana to which the Omo River is a main tributary. (HydroWorld 3/15/10) Work also is to include a cumulative impact assessment to determine the magnitude of the effects of construction and operation of the Omo River hydroelectric cascade. The bank said additional hydropower projects are envisaged downstream.

The contractor also is to integrate findings of various individual studies of the environmental and social effects of Gibe 3. A community development program study also is to identify areas to enhance livelihoods of people in the area.

The studies, budgeted at 1.28 million euros (US$1.7 million), are part of a fact finding exercise to guide if and how to finance the project.

The US$1.75 billion project, 240 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa, includes a 240-meter-tall rockfill dam, tunnel, distribution and water diversion works, and a powerhouse. Gibe 3 is the third project to be built by Salini in the Omo-Gibe Basin, following 184-MW Gilgel Gibe and 420-MW Gilgel Gibe 2.

A solicitation notice may be obtained from the EIB Internet site at http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:82258-2010:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0. Applications must be submitted using a standard application form which may be obtained from the European Union Internet site at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/procedures/implementation/services/index_en.htm.

Applications, in English, are due to the address below by 5 p.m. Central European Time, April 28. Application envelopes must be labeled “Gibe III – Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Regarding Lake Turkana and Cumulative Impact Assessment of the Cascade of Hydropower Projects Located on the Omo River, TA2010006 ET ITF.”

EIB plans to invite a short list of four to eight firms in May to submit proposals. 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.

For more hydropower tenders, click here.

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