Top 10 Biggest Dams In Africa (2021)

Do you know the biggest dams in Africa? If not, continue reading to find out in this article. Africa has a number of the world’s largest dams on the Niger rivers, Nile,  and Congo. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the world’s largest dams.

1. THE GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM (GERD), ETHIOPIA

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is the biggest dam in Africa. This dam, which was once called the Millennium Dam, began construction in Ethiopia in 2011 and when it is completed, will stand as the largest in Africa.

In the Benishangul-Gumuz Region near Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, the dam is projected to generate 6,450 megawatts of electricity per year. The reservoir, one of the world’s largest landmasses, is expected to be full in July 2020 after it began filling in January 2019.

When the dam is fully operational, it will be the seventh-largest hydroelectric dam in the world. Power generation from the facility is expected to begin between June and August of 2021. The dividers of the dam are 145 meters high and stretch 5,900 meters.

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2. ASWAN HIGH DAM, EGYPT

South of Cairo, Egypt’s second-largest dam, the Aswan High Dam, may be found in the city of the same name in southern Egypt. The dam is the world’s tallest at 111 meters and the longest at 4,000 meters.

Built over the course of eleven years, it was completed in 1971. The dam’s total output is 2,100 megawatts, which are managed by twelve 175 megawatt turbines.

3. CAHORA BASA DAM, MOZAMBIQUE

Cahora Basa dam is the third largest dam in Africa. This hydroelectric station in Mozambique is the continent’s largest. Two major dams have been built on the Zambezi River, and this one is an important one. Five 415 megawatt turbines generate a maximum of 2,070 megawatts of power.

This power is mostly exchanged between Mozambique and South Africa through the Cahora Bassa high voltage direct current (HVDC) line structure, which includes change stations at both Songo, Mozambique and Apollo, South Africa.

Harm disrupted electricity generation for almost 10 years in 1981 during the common conflict (UCI).

4. GILGEL GIBE III DAM, ETHIOPIA

There is a roller-compacted large dam and a hydroelectric power plant on the Omo River southwest of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, called the Gilgel Gibe III Dam. One must not have one without the other in order to have a chain of dams that includes the Gibe I (184 MW) and the Gibe II force stations (420 MW).

A plan is in place to expand the Gibe Cascade using the Gibe IV and V dams, which have respective capacity limitations of 1,472 MW and 560 MW.

There is an expectation that the plant’s future electricity generation would provide half of its capacity to Ethiopia and the other half will be sold to Kenya (500 MW), Sudan, and Djibouti (200 MW) (200 MW).

Ethiopia has committed to generating 95% of its electricity from hydropower in the near future under its present development goals. The construction of the dam began in 2007 and was completed in 2016.

5. INGA DAMS, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Inga dams are one of the biggest dams in Africa. There are presently two single dams in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Inga 1 (351 MW) and Inga II, with a total capacity of 1,775 MW (1,424 MW). One of the world’s biggest waterfalls, Inga Falls, has hydroelectric dams, although they are only half-fulfilled.

Because of this, African countries and powerful corporations are considering investing $80 billion in the Grand Inga project, which would turn the dam into the world’s biggest power plant with a capacity of 70 GW.

Keeping up with maintenance has been difficult since the two dams haven’t been functioning at their full potential for some time.

6. THE KARIBA DAM, ZAMBIA

It is estimated that the Kariba Dam, located between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is 128 meters high and 579 meters long. With a total installed capacity of 1,626 megawatts, the dam is now being expanded to increase its output.

Power plants on the dam’s north and south banks provide electricity for Zambia and Zimbabwe.

7. MEROWE DAM, SUDAN

The Merowe Dam in Northern Sudan is one of the world’s most damaging hydropower projects. The dam, which was worked somewhere in the range of 2003 and 2009 on the Nile’s fourth waterfall, made a 174-kilometer-long repository.

The venture, with a limit of 1,250 megawatts, multiplied Sudan’s power age. It additionally uprooted more than 50,000 individuals from the rich Nile Valley to dry desert regions. A huge number of individuals who would not leave their homes were moved out by the supply’s rising waters. 

The Merowe Dam in northern Sudan is the biggest contemporary hydropower project in Africa as far as size, with a length of 7 kilometers and a stature of up to 67 meters.

The hydropower dam on the Nile is comprised of ten turbines, each equipped for delivering 125 megawatts, for a complete limit of 1,250 megawatts.

8. TEKEZÉ DAM, ETHIOPIA

The Tekeze River has a dam called the Tekeze Dam on it. Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains serve as the beginning point for the Tekeze and Atabara rivers. They are all kept hidden, although they are important tributaries of the Nile River, which extends over 6650 kilometers.

Ethiopia’s Tekezé Dam, at 188 meters, is the world’s highest dam. One of the country’s largest public works projects is the construction of two dams on the Tekezé River, which feeds into the Nile.

Four 75-megawatt turbines generate 300-megawatts of electricity each, totalling 1,200-megawatts of power generated by the dam. Tekeze Dam took seven years to construct and was completed in 2009.

9. AKOSOMBO DAM, GHANA

Water from Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world at 8,502 km2, powers the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam in southeast Ghana, which is located at the lake’s foundation. With a capacity of 1,020 MW, the power plant originally built to service Ghana’s aluminium sector now serves Ghana, Togo, as well as Benin.

In addition to generating electricity, the dam serves as a flood control system when needed. A major commercial and transportation hub, Lake Volta can be found there.

10. KANJI DAM NIGERIA

The Kainji Dam can be found in the Borgu Local Government Area (LGA) in Niger State. The hydroelectric generators and turbines are all monitored and controlled at the Kainji Dam, as is the route lock at the dam. Nigeria’s Kainji Dam, built on the Niger River, provides electricity to several of the country’s major cities.

Despite the goal of designing a dam with a 960 megawatt installed limit, only eight of the planned twelve turbines have been installed, reducing the plant’s capability to 760 megawatts. The Kainji Dam is estimated to be 10 kilometers long, making it one of the world’s longest.

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