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The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) ordered heavy industries to halt production at peak hours; from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Sources told Capital that two weeks ago EEPCo notified heavy industries to halt production for three weeks at the stated peak hours until Friday, June 28. Such instructions from the state power monopoly were usual in the past years when power shortage affected distribution. However, this time the memo indicated that the corporation is rehabilitating its transformers and transmission lines.
For Misikir Negash, EEPCo’s Communications Department Head, current power shedding is not related in any way with power shortage. “The corporation is installing power factor correctors for big industries in order to save more power and control wastage. That is why power outage like this happens at some specific industries,” Misikir said.
Medium and small industries were not affected by the power factor correctors’ installation.
“The corporation does not have a power supply shortage nor will it have a shortage ever,” Misikir told Capital.
Meanwhile, the sole electric power utility has recently forecasted that about 200MW power shortage will occur in the coming budget year commencing on July 8, 2013.
EEPCo officials said that, to narrow the gap, the corporation is considering options for additional power production from thermal energy that has been considered as the major additional power source to eliminate the expected shortage.
EEPCo has been struggling to cope with electric power shortage in the last couple of years by using different mechanisms, including the installation of more than 45 diesel generators, that costs the corporation over 100 million birr a month for operation.
The ever increasing number of new industries, as well as the expansion of investment activities in various parts of the country accompanied by low levels of rain during the main rainy season, have aggravated the problem.