Ethiopia Will Suspend Power Exports to Neighbors, Reporter Says

December 29th, 2008 | by addis portal |

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia will suspend electricity exports to neighboring Sudan and Djibouti while it deals with a local shortage because of delays in completing new power projects, the Reporter said.

Ethiopia’s state-run electricity utility, which produces between 700 and 800 megawatts of electricity, faces a 100- megawatt shortfall due to growing demand and delays in the construction of new hydropower dams, the Addis Ababa-based newspaper said, citing Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu.

Construction of the Tekeze dam in northern Ethiopia, on a tributary of the Blue Nile River, has been delayed because the ground on which it was being built wasn’t strong enough, the report said. A second hydropower facility in southern Ethiopia has been delayed for over a year because a boring machine digging a 26-kilometer (16-mile) tunnel has been stuck underground, it said.

Ethiopia signed memorandums of understanding with Sudan and Djibouti to export power and is completing a feasibility study to send power to Kenya. The country plans to build as many as nine new dams over the next 10 years.

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