Ethiopia secured $224.3 million from the African Development Bank to fund the construction of four electricity transmission lines to improve its own power supply and help development in neighboring countries, the lender said.
Additional transmission capacity is “critical and timely” for Ethiopia’s industrial development, said Lamin Barrow, the AFDB’s resident representative, by phone today from the capital, Addis Ababa. The lines will connect areas in the north, east and south-west of the country, and help expedite plans to export power to Sudan and Kenya, he said.
Under a five-year plan, Ethiopia, which suffers from intermittent blackouts, plans to quadruple power generation to at least 8,000 megawatts and expand electricity coverage to 75 percent of the population from 41 percent now. A lack of transmission lines is hindering attempts to export power, the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. said on Dec. 8.
The Tunis-based African Development Bank will lend Ethiopia 61 percent of the funds and donate the rest, Barrow said.
The project, which will see 948 kilometers (589 miles) of 230-volt cables laid, is scheduled to finish in Aug. 2013, Barrow said. Eight new sub-stations will be built and another 11 upgraded under the plan, he said.