Ethiopia has completed the installation of power transmission lines that stretch to Djibouti and Southern Sudan, said the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC). The projects were carried out with a multimillion dollar fund from the World Bank.
Following the commissioning of the lines and the completion of the dams currently under construction, the country has agreed to supply 200MW of generating capacity to Djibouti, 500MW to Kenya and 200MW to Sudan. In addition, it is considering a 26km undersea transmission cable for exporting power to Yemen.
Nurturing ambitions to become a regional power hub, Ethiopia is aiming to realise its hydropower potential. “Ethiopia is endeavouring to fully harness its hydropower potential, which is estimated to be more than 45,000 megawatts, to alleviate poverty”, said Mehret Debebe, CEO of EEPC. Recently, Ethiopia launched the construction of a US$4.7bn hydropower project in the Nile basin near the border with Sudan. The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will enable transmission lines to further link Ethiopia’s hydropower plants to the 12-nation Southern Africa Power Pool via Tanzania.
At present, the country generates 2000MW of power for domestic demand, but in the next 5-10 years, its power capacity could increase to as much as 10,000MW. As a result, electricity rather than coffee could prove to be Ethiopia’s biggest export in a decade.