The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has changed the Aysha Wind Farm project with the aim of expanding the farm’s production capacity.
Aysha, one of the renewable and highly feasible projects that is planned to be built before the end of the five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), is expected to expand to 1000MW from the initially planned 300MW.
Several external financiers have demonstrated a high degree of interest in financing Aysha. EEPCo has agreed with the European Investment Bank and a Chinese financial firm to obtain financing for the wind farm expected to be developed by the Ethiopian Metal Engineering Corporation (MetEC).
Miheret Debebe, CEO of EEPCo, told Capital that the corporation has revised the project to boost the wind farm’s generating capacity to 1,000MW.
“We can produce the stated amount of power from wind in the location at Aysha, located in Afar regional state close to the Djibouti border,” Miheret explained.
Mekuria Lemma, Corporate Planning head of EEPCo, told Capital that based on the revised plan other companies will be part of the project to construct the wind farm along with MetEC.
Various international financiers were interested in Aysha. However, EEPCo was waiting to obtain a favourable interest rate. Recently an EEPCo official told Capital that Aysha is a highly feasible wind farm and the country’s largest and hence was expected to attract international interest.
According to experts, Aysha can easily connect with the regional grid that connects Ethiopia with Djibouti.
“It is able to attract international financiers because it is reliable and realistic,” Miheret said recently. “Energy export is a viable source of collateral for external loan providers,” he added.
“Aysha attracted financers because of its proximity to the transmission line for Djibouti,” he explained.
MetEC will be the first local company to be part of this type of wind power endeavour.
Adama II and Assela, two other wind power projects that will produce 153 and 100 MW respectively are expected begin operation before the end of the GTP. In the last year of the GTP, the country will be able to produce 890MW of electric power from these wind farms. EEPCo plans to generate up to 10,000MW by 2015.