Ethiopia and Djibouti to Sign Electricity Export Agreement this Week

(Horntrade) – A high-level delegation from the government and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) is expected to travel to Djibiouti to sign an agreement on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 that will make electricity export to Djibiouti, operating on a trial basis for the past few months, official and binding.

Ethiopia has been exporting electricity to Djibouti since the end of May, charging 70 dollar cents for a kilowatt hour (KWh). Ethiopia has been exporting 100GWh with the aim to supply uninterrupted 200mw to Djibouti.

This will mark the first concrete step by the government toward plans for exporting electric power to its neighbours, including Kenya and Sudan, and to widen plans to fund the generation of electricity from it.

The project, largely financed by African Development Bank (AfDB) and costing around 65 million dollars, aims to enhance access to electricity in Djibouti, which in 2003 was 49.5pc, to 60pc by to 2015. One of the benefits of the project is a ten pc tariff reduction expected in Djibouti.

The project was initiated by the two clients EEPCo and its counterpart Electricite de Djibouti (EdD) in 2006.

Substation construction work has included an extension to the existing Dire Dawa substation, involving two 230-kV lines. One circuit is used to supply Adigala, the principal Ethiopian border town along the 230-kV transmission line route. Another substation has been constructed, which will also supply another 11 Ethiopian border towns, in the vicinity of Aysha, Dewele and Harewa, with a network comprising 230 km of 33-kV overhead line.

Adigala substation also includes a 230-kV line to supply Djibouti City. Another 75 km of 63-kV overhead line has been constructed to supply power to the border towns of Ali-Sabieh and Dikhil.

The first phase of the electrification of the border towns was completed in 2009 and around 9,000 new customers are expected to benefit through other projects, such as small scale micro-industries and irrigation projects using electric appliance pumps.

Djibouti’s consumption was 0.17 billion kwh in 2000, which increased to o.22 billion kwh by the end of 2006. Recent documents show the annual consumption of electricity from domestic and imported sources has reached 0.26 billion kwh.

Power demand in Djibouti is expected to grow from about 90 MW to 175 MW in the next fifteen years, according to a study done for the project.  The transmission line to Djibouti from Ethiopia will supply a significant proportion of this demand, possibly up to 75pc being exported from Ethiopia, to the economic advantage of both countries, according to the same study.

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