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Ethiopia, Chinese Company Sign U.S.$119 Million Deal for Infrastucture development to Kenya

Posted on : Saturday, 27th June 2015

 Ethiopia signed a 119 million dollar deal for power transmission lines to Kenya to export the extra power.

"It is mandatory to export the energy that is leftover as we cannot keep it, because our existing electric transmission lines are working beyond their capacity and they cannot transmit the entire amount of energy we are producing," according to Azeb Asnake (Eng.), chief executive officer (CEO) of Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP).
The multimillion dollar deal which went to the China Electric Power Equipment & Technology (CEP), was concluded on June 19, 2015 at the Sheraton Addis Hotel at a ceremony attended by Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Water, Irrigation & Energy; Sufian Ahmed, minister of Finance & Economic Development; La Yifang, ambassador of the Republic of China; Josephine Ngure, resident representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB); Chen Wei, vice president of CEP, as well as representatives of the World Bank (WB) and the French Development Agency (AFD).
The power line, to be constructed on the Ethiopian side of the project will be 433Km long from Wolayta Sodo through Konso to the border of Kenya.
CEP is a subsidiary company of State Grid Corporation of China, which is engaged in the construction of international power, energy and power transmission lines. It is the company that provided electricity grids for substations in the Addis Abeba light rail transit (LRT) power project.
The construction contract signed with CEP is part of the five lots of the Ethiopia-Kenya electric system interconnection project, which has a total length of 1,045Km and a transmission capacity of 500Kv. The remaining 612Km is going to be constructed by Kenya.
The construction costs, including the consultancy service of the Ethiopian lot, is wholly and exclusively financed by the AfDB while financing of the whole interconnection is shared between the developmental partners of WB, AfDB and AFD, at total cost of 1.26 billion dollars.
The project, which started in 2015, nine years after of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2006, is now on a schedule to be completed after two years and two months.
The project was delayed because of a lengthy bidding process, environmental and technical assessments, said the EEP CEO, speaking to journalists after the signing of the contract. She added that the construction project was to be undertaken considering the existing and ongoing power projects.
"It is a misconception for those who thought the country could not export power in a scenario where there is power shortage within," she said, "but in any case, we are not going to export without identifying the leftover energy and without meeting the local demand," Azeb noted in response to the question of how exporting power was even possible in the presence of power interruptions within the country.
With the diversification of developmental partners, there were different policies and preconditions, which should have been settled and during the last nine years, there were challenging times when non-governmental organisations were lobbying against the financing of the project, Meheret Debeb, advisor of Energy Strategy & International Affairs and former chief executive officer of the then Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), told Fortune.
The country currently plans to export 400Mw of power annually. According to AfDB, once the entire project is completed, Ethiopia will earn annual export revenue of 500 million dollars and 870,000 Kenyan households will reap the benefits.
Other than the Ethiopia-Kenya power Interconnection project, there are similar projects including the 283Km and 230Kv Ethiopia-Djibouti power transmission line, which was inaugurated in October 2011. That project, which was also financed by the AfDB, was planned to earn Ethiopia 1.5 million dollars per month and provide 60Mw of electricity to Djibouti.
A 321Km Ethio-Sudan Power Systems Interconnection was also inaugurated in December 2013 at 35 million dollars, having a capacity of 100Mw and was planned to bring in 150 million dollars in foreign currency to the country.

Source : allafrica.com
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