17 July 2009 – Ethiopian Electric Power Authority (EEPA) has signed a 1.9 billion euro ($2.67 billion) deal with China’s Sino Hydro Corporation Limited to construct two hydroelectric dams with a capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts.

The agreement brings the number of hydropower dams under construction in Ethiopia to seven with an aggregate total capacity of over 5,000 MW.

Eighty five percent of the project will be financed through preferential buyers’ credit and concessionary loans from China with the balance covered by Ethiopia according to Mihret Debebe, EEPA’s General Manager.

Mihret said the pact that was signed on Tuesday was for the construction of Gibe IV and Halele Werabesa dams, expected to produce 2,150 MW when completed in five years.

Gibe IV is a continuation of three other hydro dams on the 325-mile (523 km) Omo river. Officials estimate that the hydropower potential of the nation is around 45,000 MW.

Ethiopia plans to export excess electric power to Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya, officials said.