The Ethiopian government has signed deals with three international contractors for an interconnection programme between Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The agreement was signed at the Hilton hotel in Addis Ababa by general manager of EEPCo, Meheret Debebe.

The agreement, with an Italian, French and Indian company will be implemented on both sides and the companies will sign a similar agreement with Djibouti this week.

The agreements are as follows:

  • Indian company, Kalpataru has signed a $38 million agreement for the construction of a 201km, 230Kv transmission line between Dire Dawa in the east to the Djibouti border.
  • Siemens SpA, an Italian company, will be responsible for the $30 million construction of a 230Kv extension to the existing Dire Dawa substation, as well as constructing a new 230/33 substation in Adigala.
  • French company, ETDE will be responsible for the electrification of borders towns on the Ethiopian side. This $13 million contract will electrify eight Ethiopian border towns.

"This project can be a model to African and a high way to connect Africa to the Middle East . It will also create strong economic and social value to both countries," Debebe said after signing the agreements with the three companies.

60% of the costs will be covered by the African Development Bank with Ethiopia and Djibouti covering the remaining 40%.

Mr. Jerome Douat, commercial manager, Africa, for ETDE; Vincenzo Giori, chief executive officer, Siemens SpA and P.S.Kumar for Kalpataru signed the agreements on behalf of their companies.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2009.