Ethiopia eyes extra 12,000 MW in power projects by 2020

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DDIS ABABA – Ethiopia plans to launch hydropower dams and other renewable energy projects over the five years to 2020 that will add an additional 12,000 megawatts of electricity upon completion, a senior official said on Monday.
With one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, Ethiopia wants to become a manufacturing hub and Africa’s top energy exporter by tapping the numerous rivers that cascade through its highlands.
Experts say the Horn of Africa nation has the potential to generate 45,000 megawatts of hydropower.
Under a 2010-2015 development blueprint, the Growth and Transformation Plan 1 (GTP 1), Ethiopia started work on the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam and planned to complete the $1.8 billion Gilgel Gibe 3.
Together, the dams will boost generating capacity from 2,400 megawatts now to more than 10,000 megawatts upon completion.
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Under a new 2015-2020 plan that is due to be endorsed by parliament in September, projects generating 12,000 megawatts will be added, Azeb Asnake, Chief Executive of state-run Ethiopian Electric Power, said.
“For this ambitious plan, the idea is to finance at least 50 per cent by our own coffers, by the Ethiopian government, and the rest from different sources,” she said.
Ethiopia’s total energy plans could cost the country up to $25 billion, Azeb said.
“They could be grants, soft loans and commercial loans from foreign banks, governments and the like,” she said. (Reuters/NAN)
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