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While Egypt rejects EAPP’s master plan
The East African Power Pool (EAPP) moved forward with the adoption of the regional energy master plan with Egypt’s refusal.
The regional power pool based in Addis Ababa met for three days in Ethiopia’s capital to finalize and amend the new master plan, to be used as a guiding tool for regional power integration over the next 25 years. The discussions in Addis concluded with the steering committee – made up of electric power representatives of ten member countries – deciding to adopt the master plan.
Master plan identifies power interconnection and generation in the member states of the EAPP. Thus far all member states have accepted the resolutions of the master plan with the exception of Egypt, also member of the North African Power Pool, who rejected the document.
Under the master plan, a number of transmission and generation projects have been identified as key to the integration of the power sectors in the EAPP, according to sources.
The steering committee of EAPP, chaired by Azeb Asnake (Eng.), CEO of the state owned Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), said that members will once again meet in March to develop a strategic plan in line with the plan.
“The strategic plan will be drafted for the implementation of projects over the next ten years,” an official at EEP, who requested to remain anonymous, told Capital.
The deliberation of the 23rd steering committee meeting presented to the Council of Ministers stated that the pool has to move on the action plan as soon as possible.
Regional interconnections have thus far been largely limited to bilateral agreements, with Ethiopia providing electric power to Sudan and Djibouti with service provision to Kenya underway. However, the coming integration promises wider networks of power, with streamlined integration of Ethiopia and Kenya and reaching further to Tanzania by 2018.
Gaber Desouky, Chairman of Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, representing Egypt, stated that his country does not accept the master plan, and claimed that Egypt’s concerns have not been addressed.
The document, according to the Chairman, has limited on risk analysis, environmental assessmentof the scheduled projects and is riddles with other technical insufficiencies.
Egypt is uncomfortable about the development of the sector at the region, said an expert on the matter. He argued that the sector development in the region will enhance all member states in the region, and Egypt’s rejection would not have significant impact as the plan received approved by all of the remaining members.
Motuma Mekasa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, who signed the deal on behalf of Ethiopia, told Capital that the move will benefit all members and enable the shared use electric power.
“I don’t think Egypt’s refusal to sign the document will affect the implementation of the master plan because it has been approved by the rest of the members,” he stated.
Developmental partners have also accepted the document, developed by Energinet a Danish state owned firm, and expressed interested in being a part of the projects, according to the expert.
Representative of the international development partners also expressed their appreciation for the leadership of the steering committee and its chairperson in putting forward a visionary road map for further integration of the region’s power market.
“The outcome of the discussions in particular the road map, now provide a high-level tool for steering East Africa’s power development and integration,” international development partners said.
The partners added that the master plan provides an integrated approach that aims to speedup infrastructure projects and insures the effective systems of operation, trade mechanisms, planning tools and regulatory environment.
“The road map is a tool for cooperation of member states of EAPP and other African institutions, in addition, it also provides a framework for cooperation between the EAPP and international development partners,” international development partners stated on the meeting.
Established in 2005, the objective of the EAPP is to pool resources for optimal exploitation of the available potential in the region to satisfy the increasing demands for electric power in an efficient manner, to the benefit all member states. It has also a plan of facilitation and coordination of power exchange among member utilities with the ultimate objective of establishing regional electricity market.
Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Libya and Tanzania are members of EAPP, while Djibouti and South Sudan are expected to join soon.