The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and other two Chinese companies, Hydro-China and CGCOC have signed a contract to construct the Adama II Wind Farm at a cost of over 6 billion birr.
The project, which is the second phase of the Adama I wind farm, will be completed within 18 months. Both companies that signed the deal have also constructed the first phase of the project, the Adama I Wind Farm.
Adama II will have an installed capacity of 153MW which is three times that of Adama I with a capacity to generate 51 MW. The new project will have 102 turbines installed, each producing 1.5 MW.
Miheret Debebe, CEO of EEPCo said that 10Km transmission lines will connect the project with a 230Kv grid through the Koka substation, which is close to the major industrial centres of Adama, Mojo, Debre Zeit, Dukem and Addis Ababa.
Hydro-China conducted the feasibility study and will also conduct the mechanical work. CGCOC the other Chinese firm selected for the project execution will do the civil engineering work. Adama II, that is expected to consume USD 345 million (6.21 billion birr) will be financed through a soft loan secured from the Chinese Import Export (EXIM) Bank.
Adama I is currently producing 51MW from 34 towers each with a generating capacity of 1.5 MW. The total cost of the project was USD 117 million of which 85 percent covered by a loan secured from the Chinese EXIM Bank. The Ethiopian government financed the remaining 15 percent.
The area is one of the many places around the country with ample wind energy. Assela Wind Farm, which will begin in the near future has the capacity to produce 100MW.
“From recent study conducted on the country’s wind power capacity, Adama and Iteya area alone are said to have a potential of generating about 1,000MW. Developing projects in these areas is convenient in terms of grid connection and their proximity to load centres apart from the natural wind resources,” the CEO said at the signing ceremony held at Sheraton Addis Hotel.
EEPCo has partially commissioned another wind power plant in Mekelle. The wind farm built on the outskirts of Mekelle, in a place called Ashegoda, has an installed generation capacity of 120 MW. Under the five-year Growth and Transformation Plan, Ethiopia plans to generate 890 MW from wind energy. The country’s energy demand is growing at a rate of 34 percent currently.