World’s power producers flock to Ethiopia

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The Power Africa meeting, a continental energy talk held for three consecutive years in Addis Ababa, has been attracting interest from energy industry representatives.

Experts who attended the two day meeting at Radisson Blu from November 20 have attracted international financiers, contractors, investors and international organizations, eager to be part of the exciting developments in the energy sector.
The number of private sector participants is increasing, indicating that companies want to be involved in developing the energy sector on the continent.
“Around 70 private sector participants showed up and that is a dramatic increase from the 50 last year,” experts in the energy sector said.
“I talked with every participant in my office before they came to the conference, which will provide insight in selecting the most appropriate and enthusiastic developers,” Mekuria Lemma, plan and program head of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), told Capital.
“We have a huge interest in expanding the private sector’s involvement in power development and because of that this is a good opportunity for us to attract potential investors,” Mekuria who presented his enterprise’s strategy and future projects at the meeting, added.
He said that several applications are coming from the private sector to be part of the renewable energy development in the country.
Recently Ethiopia ratified a law mandating private sector development of  electric power from wind, solar, geothermal and hydro.
EEP and Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) also signed an agreement allowing the company to sell electricity to EEP. Currently, RG is developing the Corbeti Geothermal project that will generate 1,000MW when completed.
Ethiopia wants to use both the private and public sectors to expand power generation. According to the country’s law, power developers have to sell the energy to EEP, which has a state monopoly on power distribution.