Ethiopia: Norway joins China in mega hydropower project

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Norway is now the second country after China to financially support Ethiopia’s hydropower development after a loan request for the Eastern African country’s mega Gibe III hydropower was rejected by the World Bank and other financial institutions.

Showing an unprecedented interest to assist the Ethiopia’s power development project, the Norwegian ambassador to Ethiopia and Ahmed Shide, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development have signed a 400 million birr hydropower agreement.

Ethiopia’s hydropower development projects were until December 1 almost entirely dependent on an essential Chinese financial support. According to officials, the Norwegian cooperation will help consolidate Ethiopia’s power projects.

The financing will help Ethiopia undertake two fusibility studies on Mandaya and Beko-Abo rivers, each of which has a generating capacity of 2000MW.

“Developing hydropower resource is crucial to underpin Ethiopia’s overall economic development and industrialization effort and make the development sustainable,” Ambassador Jens-Petter Kjemprud said during the signing ceremony.

Chinese cooperation

In September, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) rewarded China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co. Ltd (CGGC) with the construction of the Genale Dawa III dam.

The construction award, worth 408 million dollars, will generate electrical power estimated at 254MW at the Genale River located near the Somali region.

Two other hydropower projects have been awarded to two Chinese companies, Sino Hydro and HydroChina.

At a total cost of 555 million dollars, Sino Hydro will construct a power dam on Chemoga Yeda River, which is expected to produce a generating capacity of 250MW.

Hydrochina will construct two wind power projects at a cost of 123 million and 127 million dollars each.

Most of the projects will be financed through a loan obtained from the Chinese Export-Import Bank.

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