Sunday, November 21, 2010

400kV transmission tower took the lives of four Chinese and one Ethiopian crew

An unprecedented, yet simple technical error has claimed the lives of four Chinese and one Ethiopian crew as they were installing a 400kv transmission tower around the Blue Nile Gorge under the Beles Hydro Power Project, informed sources told The Reporter. The accident occurred some five weeks ago while the crew was atop the tower when it suddenly collapsed due to “unnoticed loose fittings”, causing instant death according to sources.The Reporter’s attempt to obtain information about the accident from the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) for the past three weeks was met with silence. All the same, representatives of Shangai Electric Company (SEC), the contractor of the Beles Hydro Power Transmission and Substation Project, have altogether denied the occurrence of the accident. Informed sources and eyewitnesses have, however, confirmed the accident. Undertaken by SEC, the 400kv transmission tower and substation project part of the Beles Hydro Power will, when fully commissioned, have an installed capacity of producing 460MW. The Chinese company, which commenced the project two years ago, has already completed installation of the substation part in Bahir Dar. If all goes according to plan, SEC will finalize the installation of the transmission tower extending some 500 km from Beles Hyro Power site to the transmission site installed in Sululta in a few months time. Accordingly, the Beles Hydro Power is expected to start power production sometime in February next year, thereby reducing the recurrent power shortage in the country, according to industry experts. Source (Reporter)

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