Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Somaliland next on EEPCO’s power grid

Somaliland is the newest nation to be part of Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo’s) plans of electric export deals. Sources at the corporation told Capital that the state electric power supplier plans to electrify the south-eastern border town of Somaliland, which is close to the Ethiopian border town of Togochale.
According to sources, the electric transmission line installation work has begun around the area, but it is not known when the power transmission will commence.
EEPCo, the sole electric power supplier in the country has been supplying up to 80 MW of electric power for Djibouti since mid 2011, which is the first time Ethiopia has exported electrical power.
According to sources, in the future the corporation plans to expand its electric supply to Hargessa, the capital of Somaliland. “The two sides have agreed on the condition, although the deal is not yet completed,” sources said.
EEPCo has also entered into agreement with Sudan and Kenya to export power for the two bordering countries. Currently the installation of a transmission line between Sudan and Ethiopia has almost been concluded and electricity is supposed to begin being supplied during this year. A transmission line is being constructed on the Kenyan side and the export of electricity is scheduled to begin in 2014. The African Development Bank (AfDB) financed the Ethio-Kenya transmission line installation project. AfDB has also financed similar projects stretching between Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan.   
Even though power has not been supplied to Kenya yet, Moyale town on the Ethiopian border is already receiving electricity from EEPCO, according to sources. In a few weeks another Kenyan border town is expected to be on the Ethiopian grid.
The government is working to earn hard currency by exporting electrical power. To meet its target EEPCo has commenced various electrical power projects with other partners.
Renewable projects; hydro electric power, geothermal and wind farms are power projects the corporation is working on. The construction of hydro power plant has taken the lead due to the country’s potential.
Since 2004 Ethiopia inaugurated five hydro power projects; Gilgel Gibe I (GG-I), GG-II, Tekeze I, Tana Beles and Amerti Neshi with over 1400 MW of total production capacity. The Renaissance Dam and Gibe-III hydro power projects are other huge projects under construction to expand the power production for the country and the export market.
Wind projects in Adama and Mekele are in their final stages and are expected to contribute to the power supply.