Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 January 2012 – The Ethiopia-Sudan power transmission line will be completed in the first quarter of this year, connecting Ethiopia to Sudan’s power grids, according to the Ethiopia Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCO).
The ”Sudan Tribune” reports that the energy link will allow power trading between the two African neighbours.
Ethiopia plans to sell an initial 100MW of electricity to Sudan as an example of Ethiopia’s capacity to export power. The Horn of Africa country has recently begun exporting 35MW of electricity a month to Djibouti, earning up to US$1.5 million every four weeks.
The Ethiopia-Sudan transmission project will enable Khartoum to replace its thermal power generating units with Ethiopia’s renewable and clean hydro-power generated energy.
The World Bank-funded, US$41 million, 230KV transmission line will be 296km long. It stretches between the Ethiopian towns of Bahir-Dar and Metema, and connects with a transmission line in the Sudanese border town of Gedaref.
With an estimated potential of producing 45,000MW of hydroelectricity, Ethiopia is considered among the continent’s leading natural energy producers. The country has, however, exploited only a portion of this huge resource from its many rivers.
The newspaper adds that to cope with the ever-growing power demand, and also as part of the country’s ambitious five year growth and transformation plan, Ethiopia is investing billions of dollars into building massive hydropower dams.
Ethiopia is hoping electricity will eventually replace coffee as its biggest export commodity when the power plants under construction and other new dams are completed over the next 5 to 10 years.
There is also a line being built to connect Ethiopia with Kenya. The long-term plan is to eventually link Ethiopia’s hydro-electric power source to the rest of East Africa via Tanzania.