Ethiopia will add capacity with geothermal power plants

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power has unveiled two geothermal energy projects with a combined capacity of generating 1,000 megawatt of electricity.

The EEP signed two agreements worth 4 billion U.S. dollars on Tuesday for the purchase and implementation of the Corbetti and Tulu Moye geothermal plants, which are expected to be completed within eight years.

The two projects are regarded as the first of their kind in Ethiopia’s geothermal resources development to be run by the private sector.

One of the two projects, Corbetti, is expected to sell electricity to the government at an equivalent of 0.075 U.S. dollars a kilowatt, which is said to be the lowest rate in the east African region.

Azeb Asnake, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power, said during the signing ceremony that the Ethiopia government has identified 22 sites that are sustainable for geothermal power development across the country.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the country now has 4,300 MW of installed power generation capacity, and projects with a total capacity of over 9,000 MW are under various stages of construction. Others with over 3,000 MW in capacity are at preparatory stages.

Studies show that Ethiopia has an estimated 10,000 MW of geothermal energy potential.

Electric power generation is an important part of east African country’s ambitious drive to become a lower middle income economy within in 10 years.

Its mega hydropower project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), on the Blue Nile River, is 63 percent complete, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

Construction of GERD project, regarded as Africa’s largest dam upon completion, started in April 2011 with an estimated cost of 80 billion Ethiopian Birr (about 4.7 billion dollars).

Primarily aimed at generating electric power, the GERD project has a capacity of 6,450 MW upon completion, although Ethiopia is still working out differences over the dam with Sudan and Egypt.



Private Chinese investment hits 269 mln USD in Ethiopian in 2017

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Private Chinese investment to Ethiopia worth 269.4 million US dollars has been commissioned since the start of 2017, an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.

Mekonen Hailu, Communications Director at Ethiopia Investment Commission, said 68 Chinese projects became operational and 41 entered final implementation phase in the first 11 months of the year.

“The biggest number of Chinese investment to Ethiopia has been in the manufacturing sector, followed by construction, real estate, consultancy and other sectors,” he added.

He further said private Chinese firms’ investment is the single largest foreign direct investment source to Ethiopia in 2017 with investment from Indian and Dutch firms following in second and third positions.

China is already Ethiopia’s largest trading partner, with trade volume between the two nations reaching 6 billion dollars in 2015.


IMF chief hails Ethiopia’s economic growth,
calling for efforts to sustain momentum

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, who is in Ethiopia for an official visit, has praised Ethiopia’s economy and called for sustaining the economic development witnessed in the east African country.

Lagarde, who is on an official visit to Ethiopia from December 13 to 15, has held discussions with senior Ethiopian government officials including, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on ways of further strengthening the partnership.

The Managing Director also visited some of the development projects in Ethiopia, including the eastern Industry Zone at the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Lagarde told journalist after her visit that one of the main targets of her Ethiopia visit was to witness the development of industrial parks in the country and the determination of the Ethiopian government to reinforce the country’s economic growth.

She also noted that the nexus between the east African country’s economic development and the export sector as one area of interest behind her trip to Ethiopia.

“I am really pleased to have seen some international companies from China and the Netherlands, manufacturing to international standards for export purposes,” Lagarde said after her visit to Dukem Industrial Park.

She also expressed her hopes that the integrated training, employment and value added in the manufacturing sectors would further propel Ethiopia’s export sector to be sustainable.

Lagarde also praised the role of the private sector to Ethiopia’s economy, saying that “I saw the dynamism and enthusiasm of the people working there and the commitment of private investors to Ethiopia.”

She has also lauded the strong combination of public and private sectors as a major impetus in enhancing sustainable and inclusive development of the country.

Lagarde’s Ethiopia visit is part of her trip to three African countries that are Benin, Ethiopia, and Djibouti from December 10 to 19.

Lagarde has praised the commitment of the Ethiopian government in realizing the country’s development agenda, which includes the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), a national development plan for the 2016-2020 period.

According to Lagarde, the Ethiopian government is clearly trying to provide infrastructure to support the ongoing development endeavor.

The managing director further stressed the International Monetary Fund’s full support for Ethiopia’s development agenda.

IMF, in its assessment report of the 2017 Article IV that was released last September, had commended Ethiopia’s economy for maintaining strong resilience despite the back-to-back drought that wreaked havoc in some parts the country and the continued weak global prices for Ethiopia’s key export commodities.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, is presently striving to realize its ambitious development plan that will see the east African nation reach a lower middle-income economy in the next decade.

In her discussion with Teshome, Lagarde also noted that the performance of the Ethiopian economy “is doing very well in terms of growth.”

In addition to the economic development that the east African country presently pursue, Lagarde also lauded Ethiopia’s role in the Horn of African region, mainly with regards to the country’s handling of refugees.

As the Ethiopian government is presently scrutinizing a draft proclamation which allows refugees to live out of camps, the country has received 103,263 new refugees in the first ten months of 2017, pushing the total number of refugees living in the country to 889,071, according to a recent statement by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

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