The Ministry of Finance has approved a half-a-billion Birr budget for the construction of power substations and transmission lines for 13 industrial parks across the country. The power stations and transmission lines supply 411MW of power for the parks currently.
The Industrial Parks Development Corporation secured the funding to build the stations at Hawassa, Bole Lemmi I and II, Semera, Kilinto, Adama, Meqelle, Dire Dawa, Jimma, Debre Birhan, Bahir Dar, Kombolcha and ICT industrial parks. Of the 411MW, 230MW is permanent, while the remainder is a temporary power supply until the problem in the area is fixed.
Providing permanent electrical power to the industrial parks is the main objective of the Corporation, according to Behailu Kebede, communications head at the Corporation.
"For most of the industrial parks found in Ethiopia," said Behailu, "issues with the electric power supply impede effective production."
Out of the parks that are going to benefit from the project, Bole Lemmi II and Kilinto are industrial parks that are at the pre-operation stage, while Semera Industrial Park is still under construction.
A Committee under the Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA) is set to table the National Transmission Grid Code, a framework which defines the rules, standards, and technical requirements for transmission operators, to the executive board of the Authority. Upon approval, the Code will regulate planning, connection, operation and use of national grid systems.
Crafted by Nexant, an American-based energy consultancy group, the Code is also a set of technical guidelines to serve power producers when they either export power or integrate produced power into the national grid. The Authority will now be able to govern the planning, connection, operation and metering of the operators as well.
Ethiopia lacks a code to formally communicate with different actors in the energy sector, according to Getahun Moges, director-general of the Authority, which drafted the Code with support from the East African Power Pool.
The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has signed an agreement with Pinggao Group Co.,Ltd for the construction of a high voltage power transmission line at the Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project. The agreement was signed by Ashebir Balcha, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EEP and Zhai Yanbin, Overseas Marketing Director at the Chinese company.
According to the agreement, Pinggao Group, a wholy-owned subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, will build 230/132KV high voltage power transmission line at a cost of $11.5 million, which will be fully funded by the Ethiopian government. Taking into consideration the significance of the project to the country, the Chief Executive Officer urged the Chinese company to finalize the construction of the power line as per schedule and with the required quality.
The Ethio-Kenya Electricity Highway Project is expected to be ready for testing and commissioning at the end of this Ethiopian year, according to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP). Upon completion, the project will promote power, trade, and regional integration, and contribute to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries’ social and economic development.
Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) Communication Director, Moges Mekonnen told ENA that the project is well underway, despite the delay of some construction of transmission lines. According to him, the convertor sub-stations are almost fully completed, and they are at testing and commissioning stages.
The 433km Ethio-Kenya power transmission line has reached over 86 percent, he added. Interconnecting Ethiopia with neighboring countries through energy would play crucial role to elevate social, political and economic integration and development. Moges noted that the completion of the Ethio-Kenya electricity highway project will, therefore, help Ethiopia to obtain foreign currency and integrate the region with energy as Sudan and Djibouti are already connected.