ACWA Power
(left) ACWA Power’s CEO Paddy Padmanathan pictured with Ethiopian government official. Credit: ACWA Power.

International power solutions provider ACWA Power has been awarded two 125 MWac solar photovoltaic (PV) projects by the Public Private Partnership Directorate General (PPP-DG) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance.

ACWA Power won the bid for the plants during the first round of Ethiopia’s solar programme organised under the new PPP law.

The company has signed a Letter of Intent with the state-owned electricity producer, Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) and the Ministry of Finance.

The entities will proceed to sign a long-term power purchase agreement for the projects at $2.52 cents/kWh over a time span of 20 years before the end of this year.

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With a combined capacity of 250 MWac, the projects will contribute in addressing the current energy shortfall as well as diversifying the energy mix in Ethiopia, where the government is currently working to increase the electricity generation capacity of the country from 4,300MW today to 17,300MW by 2020.

The new plants will be located in Dicheto, in the Afar region, and in Gad, in the Somali region of the country.

Commenting on the development, ACWA Power’s CEO Paddy Padmanathan said: “It is a remarkable achievement to have been selected to deliver these projects, the first to be tendered under the new public-private partnership framework in Ethiopia.

“We welcome the opportunity to help the country realise its incredible renewable resource potential and deliver significant economic, social and environmental value,” he added.

The two solar PV projects that were tendered in April 2019 are estimated to power 750,000 homes and offset 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

ACWA Power was selected as the winning bid out of 12 pre-qualified bidders.

The company’s chief investment officer, Rajit Nanda, noted: “Our entrance into Ethiopia is yet another attestation of our impressive track record to win bids at low tariffs, and transform the energy sectors of growing economies. We thank the PPP-DG and the government for their transparent tendering process and professional approach under the framework of the new PPP law.”