The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) signed a 1.2 billion dollar the deal with State Grid of China Electric Power Equipment
and Technology for the construction of a power transmission for the Great Renaissance Dam (GRD) on Friday April 26.
According to the deal the project will be completed in 24 months and 85 percent of the finance will be funded by the Export-Import Bank of China.
With a capacity of 6,000 MW, GRD on the Nile River will be the largest dam in Africa and one of the top 20 biggest dam in the world. The cost of the project estimated at around five billion dollar will be fully covered by local financial sources.
The transmission lines that stretch from Grand Renaissance Dam-Dedessa-Holeta 500kV power transmission project with a length of 619km and a 400kV transmission line from Holeta to Sebeta II, Holeta to Sululta II and Holeta to Akaki II will be constructed according to the deal.
“The transmission line especially linking the GRD to the national grid are very critical in terms of allowing the power flow” the Miheret Debebe CEO of EEPCo said in his speech during the signing ceremony. “This is another milestone in realising Ethiopia’s development objective,” Miheret added.
Miheret also urged the Chinese company to adhere to the timeline set out in the contract for the project’s completion, and admitted that securing funding for a large-scale project was a “challenge.”
“This project is a big challenge in securing finance, I should appreciate the support of Ethiopian government ministers and Chinese companies and Ethiopian diplomatic mission in China for their big support to get finance for this project,” he added.
Debre Tsion Gebre Michael (PhD), Minister of Communication and Information and board chairman of EEPCo said “the construction of this big transmission line will help benefit our economy and to ensure our industrial development.”
The feasibility study for the project was done by EEPCo and the quality and supervision will also be done by the corporation engineers.
Ethiopia has the capacity to generate 45,000 MW of power, more than the total amount currently consumed in all of sub-Saharan Africa according to figures.