Ethiopia on Friday inaugurated a Chinese-built power distribution, rehabilitation and upgrading project. The project, which is part of larger nationwide program involving eight major cities, will mainly benefit the grid system of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The seven other cities are Jimma, Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar, Mekele, Hawassa, Adama and Dessie. Ethiopian State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Frehiwot Woldehanna told the inauguration ceremony that the newly inaugurated project will have a "great significance to Ethiopia's development endeavor."
"Despite various achievements over the past years, Ethiopia still has huge deficiencies in terms of access to electric energy," he said, adding that the government considers access to electric energy as "a prerequisite to socioeconomic development."
Shiferaw Telil, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Utility, described the project as a step forward toward the country electrification ambition of full electric energy coverage.
Built by the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd (CET), a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, the 61 million U.S. dollar "8 Major Cities Distribution Rehabilitation and Upgrading Project" is financed by the World Bank.
Chinese ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, congratulated the Ethiopian government on the completion of the much-anticipated electric power distribution project, the latest outcome of the comprehensive and strategic cooperation between Ethiopia and China.
"China is always willing to help Ethiopia achieve industrialization," the Chinese envoy said.
CET general manager Yu Jun said his firm takes quality as its top priority, fully aware of the project's significance to Ethiopia's development ambition.