Ethiopia Energy Exports Worth 2.9b Br, Below GTP I Targets

The 10 month report for 2014/2015 showed billions in export and domestic earnings but shortfalls in GTP I targets

Ethiopia exported 606.5GWh of energy to neighbouring countries, amounting to 2.9 billion Br in the first 10 months of 2014/15, though planned exports were estimated at 685GWh.

Production levels during this period rose to 7,923GWh, from the planned 7,462GWh, and generated 3.5 billion Birr from exports to Djibouti and border towns of Kenya and Sudan.

Ethiopia had planned to generate 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electric power by the end of the five years of the GTP I, but so far it has only attained 2,301MW.

The installation of the electric carriage lines in the country was also planned to reach 17,000Km from 11,440Km in 2010/11, currently reaching 12,825Km. Electricity access was also planned to rise to 75pc from 41pc, but now stands at 55pc.

“We have identified 290 Weredas with critical problems and we are working to improve electricity access in these places,” said Alemayehu Tegenu, minister for the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Energy. “These places have problems related to poles, which we are changing to concrete poles to solve the problem.”

According to Bezuneh Tolcha, Communications Director at the MoWIE, the lag in the accessibility of the rural part of the country is attributed to the time taken to organise associations that can produce poles and make installations in every region,.

The Ministry had organised 139 associations for the production of concrete poles and 129 associations for the installation of electric lines.

The wooden poles are not suitable in marshy areas while the concrete ones are suitable for every kind of topography, according to Bezuneh, who added that the poles were now ready for distribution.

The government has seven ongoing power projects, with which it was to attain its target of 10,000MW. But only the Gibe III hydropower plant, which generates 1,870MW, and the Adama II wind farm, which generates 51MW are near completion, at 90.3pc and 93pc, respectively.

The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is planned to generate 6,000MW of electricity, has reached 42.5pc completion. Genale Dawa III, hydro electric power plant which has the capacity of generating 254MW of electricity, has reached 73.8pc completion and the Repi landfill site, where the plan is to generate 50MW, has reached 59.6pc.

The two thermal power projects – Melka Sidina Bamza and Aluto Geothermal Project, are 17.7pc and 72.8pc complete.

“We are giving priority to basic issues of power demand, such as areas with water pumps and health centres,” said Minister Alemayehu. “The others like mills and hotels will be addressed after these are done.”

In the fiscal year 2014/15, the country had planned to give electricity access to 1,570 towns and communities while the actual performance was 562 towns and communities, attaining a mere 36pc of the plan. The Ministry had also planned to install 21,980Km of medium and small capacity electric lines but accomplished only 33pc of its performance goal.



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