Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Electricity export to Sudan delayed

Electricity export to Sudan, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year is now going to be delayed for an unspecified period of time. The 296Km long 230 kilovolts (KV) Ethio-Sudan Transmission Line Project which cost 41 million dollars was set to be commissioned last week.
Sources said that the commissioning phase should still happen soon but the power export will still take time to come to fruition.
According to the plan Sudan will get up to 200 MW of electric power from Ethiopia, although the exact amount has not been officially disclosed by EEPCo.
The Ethio-Sudan Transmission Line Project is part of Ethiopia’s plan for interconnecting East Africa through renewable and clean electric power and developing the East African Power Pool (EAPP).
The project which started in 2008 has three sections of transmission lines in Ethiopia, Bahir Dar-Gondar (137.2 Km), Gondar-Shehedie (122Km) and Shehedie-Metema (37Km) with the third section expected to connect with a transmission line in the Sudanese border town of Gedaref.
The project financed by the World Bank has a substation contractor an Iranian firm Sunir International while the transmission line contractor is Enegroinvest of Bosnia Herzegovina. The project consultant company was Hifaboy of Finland and Fitcher of Germany until December 2010. The Transmission and Engineering office of the Ethiopian Electric Transmission Line Project (EEPCO) since 2011 has been consulting on the project.
Everything was expected to be finished in 2010 but due to financial sanctions on foreign payments imposed by the US on Iranian banks and other issues related to distribution line construction, the project has been delayed.
This is not the first time such a transmission line has been laid. On October 5, 2011 the 283Km 230KV Ethio-Djibouti transmission line stretching from the eastern city of Dire Dawa to Djibouti was inaugurated. Currently Ethiopia is exporting up to 70 MW of electric power to Djibouti, which is the first country to buy electric power from Ethiopia.
Currently border towns of Kenya and Somaliland are using a marginal amount of power from Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Kenya has already entered agreement with Ethiopia to buy up to 400 MW of electric power by 2016. Currently the transmission line project between Ethiopia and Kenya is in the process being set up at a cost of USD 765.4 million, financed by the World Bank, African Development Bank and Agence France de Development. 
Currently Ethiopia is undertaking several hydro electric and wind power projects to produce up to 10,000MW electric power by 2015.
The current power production capacity of the country is a little over 2100MW but the exact power production is below the stated amount, according to EEPCo officials.
Ethiopia is endowed with an aggregate potential capacity of 60,000 MW of which 45,000 MW are from Hydro electricity, above 10,000 MW are from wind and 5,000 are from geothermal sources. This has enabled Ethiopia to be the center for interconnecting East Africa through renewable and clean electric power.