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Ethiopia to expand electricity grid

Part of the existing
transmission network in
Adis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 03 January 2011 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$232 million in loans and grants to Ethiopia to fund the expansion of the country’s electricity grid.

The Ethiopian government launched a five-year economic development plan earlier this year targeting a huge expansion of infrastructure, with the country’s power production set to increase from 2 000 MW to 10 000 MW.

“For Ethiopia, the Bank approved a US$143.44 million loan and an US$88.75 million grant to finance the country’s electricity transmission system improvement project,” AfDB said in a statement released here.

“It consists of the construction, on a turnkey basis, of four 230-kV transmission lines and related substations,” the statement added.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told Reuters in an interview last year that improving Ethiopia’s energy supply and expanding its industries would be his priorities for the next five years.

Ethiopia plans to spend US$12 billion over 25 years on realising its ambition to become a power exporter on a continent where shortages are common and cost is expensive.