Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

EEPCo envisions next 25 years

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) is revising the twenty five year power sector master plan with its aim to generate 37,000 mega watts (MW) of electric power in the coming quarter century.
EEPCo, which is the state’s sole electric power provider in the country, first introduced its master plan in 2000 which included a plan to generate power for the next twenty five years; up to 2025. However the corporation modified its estimated target in 2006.
Mihiret Debebe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EEPCo, said that the adjustment of previous master plan, which was applied during the first half of the scheduled period, was necessary as it accommodates the new dynamism and growth of the power sector observed in the country. “We have to revise the previous baseline to undertake projects with the current economic parameter,” EEPCo’s head explained.
“The first draft of the new master plan which takes up a 25 year period until 2037 will be released within six months or in the beginning of the second quarter of the coming budget year,” the CEO told Capital. He said that the corporation’s new master plan is targeted to generate over 37,000MW of electric power by the end of the period.
According to Mihiret, the corporation is preparing the coming strategic plan for the next ten years that will be undertaken after the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). “The new plan will hold wide areas in the power sector including the indication of financial sources,” he added.  
For the implementation of the new plan and envisioned endeavours, the corporation requires billions of dollars.  To get back their expected investment cost, EEPCo is considering soliciting several local and foreign financial sources, including the major partners. Mihiret said that the confidence of foreign based financial partners, which are a major source of money are growing in relation planned power export and the expansion of the economy.
“We hope that we can get sufficient finance for the work we want to start soon,” the CEO confidently said, at the press conference held on Monday May 21.
From the total investment, power generation will consume the major amount.
Based on the current situation electric generation consumed a 65pct share from the total budget allocation of the corporation.
The prior master plan that was drafted by the World Bank and EEPCo was the first major work EEPCo conducted; since then the corporation has undertaken similarly grand endeavours to generate power and more electricity.
Currently the government wants to increase the amount of local funding it receives. A few years ago foreign based companies and/or materials contributed around 95 percent to the work of EEPCo. According to the CEO, currently the contribution of local sources has grown to 40 percent of projects, in terms of contract and supply.
To expand the local contribution even further, the government is expanding the capacity of the Metal and Engineering Corporation, which is under the Ministry of Defence, to produce parts and undertake mechanical and civil works. Similar capacity building initiatives are also being undertaken by the government for other state enterprises and private companies to meet targets aimed at increasing local capacity, which has a substantial role to play in minimizing the hard currency expenditure used in addition to creating the competence to manage large scale projects internally.
Hydro electricity are the major ventures that EEPCo is targeting in the coming years. The corporation has undertaken several large scale projects in tandem with its own force, and other local and international companies. The country has the potential to generate 45,000MW from its renewable energy. Currently, 2,000MW has been extracted from the hydro electric sector.
Other renewable energies such as wind, solar and geothermal also yield potentially high results; with the capability to produce over ten thousand MWs energy.
According to studies, the country has great geothermal potential in the Great Rift Valley area with 5,000MW geothermal power. The energy production expected to generate from wind and solar is 10,000MW.
Despite the country’s significant electric power potential from these three energy sources, the sector is still virtually underdeveloped.
Recently the corporation has commenced the development of energy projects from geothermal and wind and it plans to expand these.
Currently, two wind farms located in Ashegoda and Adama have started partial commissioning, and geothermal energy is in its implementation phase at Aluto Langano, with 7.3MW power generated since 1999. But a new undertaking is expected to produce considerably larger amounts of power from a similar area. The second phase of Aluto Langano, which is financed by Japan will produce 35MW energy.
Non renewable energy like power production from coal is the other option that the corporation envisions to develop in the coming year. For instance 90MW from Yayu coal deposit which is related with the Yayu Fertilizer Complex is expected begin by the end of the  Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) or in 2015. Cogeneration; electricity generation from sugar factories is also expected to begin soon.