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The Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE) revealed that Ethiopia potentially has more than500 million tons of coal.

The largest deposit, 517 million tons in western Ethiopia at Yayu, Chilga and Kunzila in the north have 29 million tons and Delbi Moyo, which is also in the western part of the country, has around 40 million tons deposit of coal.

Mining has begun in Yayu located in Illubabor zone, Oromia Regional State, some 625 Km west of Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Metal and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) is constructing a fertilizer factory on the site and has subcontracted the first phase of the project to locally owned Tekelbirhan Ambay Construction private limited company at a cost of 792 million birr.

A 12 million birr study reported that the coal in the area has the potential to produce 300,000 tons of Urea, 250,000 tons of dap fertilizer, 20,000 tons of ethanol and 90MW of electric power annually.

GSE is doing a detailed study on two other strategic resources petroleum and Geo-Thermal Energy.

Ethiopia is currently constructing a 70 MW geo thermal power project in Aluto Langano in the Rift Valley with an outlay of USD 270 million. The target date for the commissioning of the project is 2015 Currently this area has an energy generation capacity of 7.3 MWs. It is the primary geo thermal endeavor in the country. It is expected to be the only Geo-thermal project of the Ethiopian government’s five year Growth and Transformation plan (GTP).

Planned geo thermal endeavors include:  Aluto, 75 Mega Watts (MW), Tendaho100 MW, Abaya 100 MW, Tulu Moya 50 MW, Fentale 50 MW, and Kerbe 75 MW, together they could produce 450 MW of electric power.

Geothermal Energy is relatively inexpensive, with an average investment cost of USD 3,500 per KW, while by comparison, wind power which has an investment cost of USD 1,800 to 2,300 per KW is cheaper. Ethiopia’s geothermal potential is situated in the rift valley which runs from the Red Sea in the north to the Southern African Nation of Mozambique. Ethiopia’s geothermal potential is estimated to be around 5000 MW lower than neighboring Kenya’s which has 7000 MW of geothermal potential.

The Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE) was set up in 1968.