EEPCo tells clients to import their own transformers

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), the state-owned power utility, has offered its clients a new option; to obtain high voltage power rapidly and avoid

delay in their investments they should import their transformer devices on their own. .
Previously, EEPCo, the sole power utility company, has been supplying every component needed to acquire electric power for industries or companies. Clients pay for the service and for the cost of the materials supplied and installed by EEPCo. Now, the company has urged clients requesting high voltage power, mainly for industries and big investments to take care of the transformers needed for their projects themselves. 
Clients have stated that EEPCo has informed them that it does not have sufficient transformers and projects can be interminably delayed if everybody waits for EEPCo to supply the transformers. EEPCo had made an agreement with another  state-owned enterprise, Metal and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), to produce supply and maintain EEPCo’s transformer devices. Due to that fact, the corporation has reportedly reduced its importation of the vital component. 
Misikir Negash, Public Relations head of EEPCo, said that the corporation has put forward the two options so that clients can decide on how to proceed in regards to their investment requirements. “If they can’t wait until the corporation imports the components, we have given them the option to import the components based on EEPCo’s specifications,” he informed Capital.     
He said that the power demand that is related to the country’s rapid growth is increasing at a fast pace and this causes the kind of gaps that are observed from time to time. According to the public relations head, currently MetEC is producing, supplying and repairing transformers for the corporation but the Metal and Engineering Corporation may not be able to meet the current demand as the need for power is increasing. “Until local production is capable of fulfilling the demand of local customers and EEPCo, clients have to import to meet their own demands,” he added.
Even though EEPCo has granted permission to clients to import the components, the latter are complaining that it is difficult to acquire hard currency to import the transformers as per their requirements. The delay in the LC (Letter of Credit) processing is the major obstacle, they stated. Hence, “the corporation has to supply the product itself because there will be even longer delays if we are to also take in the delays in the processing of LCs by banks,” they explained.
Addis Transformer and Switchgears Plc, a private company  established with an investment capital of 300 million birr as a joint venture between a local company, Bridgetech Plc, and Federal Transformer LLC, (a subsidiary of Al Nasser Industrial Enterprises (ANIE) based in United Arab Emirates), plans to commence production of transformers in the near future.
The company aims to supply 4,000 transformers per year to EEPCo and may become the second transformer producing company in the country, after MetEC.