Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 22 December 2010 – Ethiopia has secured a total of US$224.3 million (R1.5 billion) from the African Development Bank (AFDB) to fund the construction of four electricity transmission lines to improve its own power supply, and to help development in neighboring countries.
Announcing this in a telephone interview here, AFDB resident representative Lamin Barrow said that the additional transmission capacity was “critical and timely” for Ethiopia’s industrial development. The lines would connect areas in the north, east and south-west of the country, and help expedite plans to export power to Sudan and Kenya, he added.
Under a five-year plan, Ethiopia, which suffers from intermittent blackouts, plans to quadruple power generation to at least 8 000MW, and to expand electricity coverage to 75% of the population from the current 41%.
As far as assistance to neighbouring countries is concerned, the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has revealed that a lack of transmission lines is hindering attempts to export power.
The Tunis-based African Development Bank will lend Ethiopia 61% of the funds and donate the rest, Barrow said.
“The project, which will see 948 km of 230-volt cables laid, is scheduled for completion in August 2013,” Barrow stated. “Eight new sub-stations will be built and another 11 upgraded under the plan,” he added.