Ethiopia earns $33 million from energy exports

Ethiopia's Water, Irrigation and Energy minister Alemayehu Tegenu (L) presenting a report to the Parliament on May 15, 2014. ANDUALEM SISAY | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Ethiopian Government has earned $33 million from exporting electric power to its neighbours, an official said.

Speaking to Parliamentarians on Thursday, Water, Irrigation and Energy minister Alemayehu Tegenu said the country had earned $32.7 million over the past nine months from export of electricity to Sudan and Djibouti.

"For first nine months of Ethiopia's budget year (July 8, 2013 - July 7, 2014), we planned to sell 867.89 gigawatt hours of electric energy to Sudan and Djibouti. We have been able to supply them with 453.61 gigawatts, attaining 52 per cent of our plan and collecting $32.716,195," the minister said.

Mr Alemayehu also stated that the country was able to generate 6,379.8 gigawatts of electric energy, attaining 91 per cent of the ministry's plan for the period.

The ministry was able to provide electricity for 88,405 new clients, attaining only about 28 per cent of its plan for the period.

Ethiopia began test export of energy to Sudan in November 2012, a year after Djibouti along the Gadarif Galabat electric power transmission line.

The transmission line between Ethiopia and Sudan is a part of the East African Power Pool, which envisages interconnection projects between Ethiopia and Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia-Kenya and Uganda plus Ethiopia and Sudan-Egypt.

Ethiopia has been earning $2.1 million monthly by exporting 34-40 megawatts of electricity to Djibouti since October 2011.

Ethiopia also plans to sell up to 400 megawatts of power to Kenya.

The construction of 1,000-km high-voltage power line between the two countries is estimated to cost $650 - $700 million.

The African Development Bank and the World Bank are among the financers of the project.

With power generation capacity of 45,000 megawatts from hydro, 10,000 megawatts from wind and 5000 from geothermal, Ethiopia plans to make energy major export item and source of forex earner.

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