ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — As part of plans to become a regional energy exporter, Ethiopia announced last week it is working on a new power strategy to boost electricity production.
Prominent Ethiopian and foreign experts on Nov. 26 began consulting on ways to implement Addis Ababa’s 25-year power master plan. The head of the state utility, Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCo), Mihret Debeb, told reporters that the new power policy will enable Ethiopia to generate 37,000 mega watts of electrical energy by 2037.
Ethiopia’s current power production stands at around 2,300 MW. However, experts say that current production is not enough to meet the increased demand in the industrial sector and the country’s fast economic growth.
Under a 2010 launched five-year growth and transformation plan, Ethiopia has plans to increase its power generation to 10,000 MW and to sustain its economic growth at 11-15 percent annually until 2015.
Experts told Sudan Tribune that under the new plan Ethiopia will eventually be able to export over 4,000 MW of hydroelectric power to nine countries in the East African region. This could eventually be extended to north and south African nations.
Last year Ethiopia’s energy industry grew by around 18 percent.
According to the experts, the 25-year energy strategy will cost Ethiopia $100 billion. The funds are expected to be secured from local sources and from international funds.
As part of the plan, Ethiopia will install over 16,000 kilometers (approximately 9,900 miles) of high voltage transmission lines over the next 10 years.
If Ethiopia succeeds with its ambitious strategy, the experts say that the East African nation could control a huge regional market giving Addis Ababa a strategic economic and political advantage in the region.
Currently Ethiopia is exports 60MW of electricity to neighboring Djibouti and around 100MW to Sudan boosting the country’s income considerably.
According to the EEPCo, Ethiopia has a potential to produce some 45,000 MW of electricity from hydro-power alone.
Source: Sudan Tribune