Ethiopia: European Investment Bank’s clarification of involvement in Gibe 3 project

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The European Investment Bank confirms that it is no longer involved in the Gibe III hydroelectric project as the Ethiopian government has found alternative sources of finance. The Bank however reaffirms its strong interest and commitment to supporting the East African energy sector.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting the energy sector across East Africa where technical, environmental and social standards are in place and financing terms are agreed with individual project promoters.” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa.

Prior to any financial engagement the European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, carries out detailed technical, environmental and social assessments. As part of preliminary consideration of possible financing of the Gibe 3 hydroelectric project the Bank was involved in a range of technical, environmental and social studies both independently and in cooperation with others. and had secured finance for further studies, notably to study the impact of the project and related mitigation measures in the downstream area, including Lake Turkana. Its decision to discontinue its engagement with the project is based on the promoter having found alternative finance and not the results of these preliminary studies.

The European Investment Bank is engaged with key energy infrastructure across the region and examining possible projects to finance. These include cross border inter-connectors and key domestic power links, renewable power generation including wind farms and geothermal energy. Each project will be examined on its individual merit.

The European Investment Bank works closely with governments and relevant ministries, other development finance institutions, the private sector and local and international civil society groups.

The commitment to renewable energy in the region is shown by the long-term financial engagement and Board approval last month of a EUR 119m loan for further financing of the Olkaria geothermal plant.

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Ethiopia lands Chinese loan approval for mega Gilgel Gibe III hydro-power project

Norway joins China in mega hydropower project

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)

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