Addis Ababa December 8/2022 (ENA) Ethiopia’s power export to neighboring countries envisages strengthening mutual cooperation and growing together, Ethiopian Electric Power Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Ashebir Balcha told ENA.
The CEO said EEP is making adequate preparations to expand cooperation with neighboring countries through power integration.
In addition to economy, this power integration covers many aspects that benefit neighboring countries, he added.
If we take Somaliland and South Sudan, for example, they mostly generate electricity using diesel. So, they will benefit a lot by importing energy from Ethiopia, which is cheap and also contributes to the reduction of air pollution in the region, Ashebir elaborated.
According to him, the importance of connecting neighboring countries with energy is not only for export purposes but also for the benefit of growing together.
The CEO, who recalled that Africa 2063 vision envisages connecting African countries through economic and social interactions, said the Government of Ethiopia has invested more in power generation and transmission lines than in other countries in the sub-regions.
Ethiopia is currently generating over 4,818 MW of electric power, and plans to exponentially increase it to 17,000 MW in 2030, it was learned.
The country mainly generates a comparatively affordable and clean hydroelectric power that it seeks to integrate with neighboring countries.
“Just like Ethiopian Airlines, EEP has a great opportunity to connect the entire region by power,” the CEO stated, adding that the country has a big potential for energy export.
It now exports only about 10-15 percent.
Ashebir revealed that when ongoing public and private power development projects, including the GERD, become fully operational Ethiopia’s effort to integrate the region with electricity will be significantly large.
“We have already started energy export to Djibouti, Sudan and Kenya. We are exporting energy to these three countries. In general, there are 11 countries in the Eastern Africa Power Pool and there are a lot of requests coming in right now. Due to climate change, most of the countries are facing severe energy shortages. But, we are at the level where most of our dams are full of water. They can generate power and that means we can sell power to them.”
The biggest challenge is infrastructure development and the countries should work together because we should be able to use the Eastern Africa Power Pool and export energy to other neighboring countries to generate a large amount of income, the CEO elaborated.
In general he said, Ethiopian Electric Power is working hard in power integration in a way that strengthens relations with neighboring countries.
By extending its power transmission grids to neighboring countries, Ethiopia has demonstrated its solidarity with African countries by trying to spearhead sub-regional economic integrations and cooperation in the spirit of Pan Africanism.