By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 28, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Tanzania is set to sign electricity power export deal with Ethiopia making it the fourth African country purchasing electricity from the latter.
- The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)
Ethiopia’s national power company (EEP) on Saturday announced that Tanzania has agreed to purchase 400 MW of Ethiopia’s hydro-power processed electricity.
EEP’s Chief Executive Officer, Azeb Asnake said the agreement between the two countries will be finalized in the coming weeks.
Azeb said the new power export deal will fosters economic integration and strengthens multilateral ties between the two countries.
The power transaction will create further economic integration between Tanzania and Kenya as the latter sits between Ethiopia and Tanzania, the CEO told the state run Ethiopian News Agency.
“Because when Tanzania gets electric power from Ethiopia, it has to pass through Kenya,” she said, adding, "When two countries are integrated economically, then they have to watch out for their political relationship as well”.
The horn of Africa’s nation is investing billions of dollars to construct a number of hydro-electric power plants including what would be Africa’s largest Dam known as Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD).
GERD which is being constructed along the Nile River in the Benshangul Gumz region near the Sudanese border is currently over 50 percent complete and will have power generation capacity of 8,000 MW.
The Ethiopian government says construction of the massive dam project will transform the country’s vision to become a leading power exporter in the East African region hub for the renewable energy in Africa.
Ethiopia hopes to become a middle income nation by 2025. Currently, it exports hydro-power processed electricity to its neighbors: Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.
Ethiopia intends to export power to seven neighboring countries after the completion of the mega dam project.
Azeb further said Ethiopia also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Burundi and Rwanda.It also has plans to link its grid with South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.
According to official estimates Ethiopia’s potential power production capacity from hydro as well as geothermal, wind and solar energy over 60,000 MW which is roughly equal to half of Africa’s current installed capacity (147,000MW).