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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 11 October 2011 – Ethiopia and Djibouti have inaugurated a 230-kV electric power transmission project that will allow Djibouti to import 35 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The inaugural ceremony was held on Wednesday in the presence Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti as well as delegates, and ambassadors from various countries.

Built at a cost of US$87 million, the 363km Ethiopia-Djibouti electric power transmission line will meet over 60% of Djibouti’s power demand. Ethiopia in return will gain up to US$1.5 million a month from the power export.

“The inauguration of the Ethiopia-Djibouti power line project is another milestone in the process of regional economic integration in general, and between the two sisterly countries in particular,” said Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi during the launching ceremony in Djibouti.

Meles said there were other massive infrastructural projects the two nations hoped to carry out jointly.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti said “the successful inauguration of the interconnection is the first in a series of shared projects between the two countries.” He added that the power supply from Ethiopia would significantly ease power shortages in his country.

Ethiopia is currently undertaking multi-billion dollar investment in hydro-electric projects.
Ethiopian power corporation manager, Mihret Debebe, recently said that the country had plans to build four more hydroelectric dams on the Nile River as part of the ambition to become a regional power hub.

Construction of a US$4.7 billion hydropower project on the Nile River near the border with Sudan has just been launched.

Ethiopia also has plans to sell electricity to other neighboring countries including Sudan, Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan.