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The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), a state owned electric generation enterprise, has targeted to commence the construction of electric projects worth 25,000MW in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) period. “In the GTP II period, the EEP along with other private firms will commence the construction of about 15 new hydro projects,” sources at EEP told Capital.
In recent years, the government has made efforts to attract private firms by approving laws that encourage private sector participation in electric projects, in order to expand the country’s electric generation capacity up to 17,000MW in the end of the GTP II. The government plans to commence the construction of electric projects using hydro, geothermal and wind power, according to sources.
The major focus will be on hydroelectric powers “We have planned to commence the construction of projects that have a potential of producing 25,000MW of power but the actual generation in the period might not reach the stated amount,” sources said.
Some of the projects shall be developed by the private sector, while EEP uses power purchase agreements with an acceptable tariff.
Currently Reykjavík Geothermal is the biggest private firm with an agreement with EEP to generate 1,000WM from geothermal projects at Korbetti, expected to generate 500MW in the GTP II period. Other private firms are also expected to join the sector with significant investment.
Despite the construction of several large-scale electric projects In the first GTP period (2010-2015), actual electric production fell short of the 10,000MW target. To date, the country’s power generation is only about 4000MW with the coming Gibe III hydro project that will soon generate 1870MW.
However, new and upcoming projects are expected to close the gap between targets and performance. In the budget year, the government also has plans to commence the construction of renewable energy projects with installed capacity of 7,000MW at a cost of 526 billion birr and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with generation capacity of 6,000MW, will be the single biggest project to start operation in GTP II.
Ethiopia targets to earn USD 642 million in GTP II from the export of electric power, and has the capacity of to generate 45,000MW from hydro, 10,000MW from geothermal and more from wind and solar power.