African bank funds grid link from hydro-rich Ethiopia to Djibouti

The board of the African Development Fund has approved a combined loan and grant of 20.92 million Units of Account (UA) (US$32.57 million) to help complete construction of a transmission interconnection between Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Under the approvals by the African Development Bank unit, Ethiopia is to receive UA5.2 million (US$8.3 million), while Djibouti receives UA15.71 million (US$24.48 million) to finance the project. The bank group approved a combined US$56 million for the 283-kilometer line in 2004. (HNN 4/24/06)

Major components of the project include development of a power transmission network, electrification of border towns, project supervision and management, and institutional support to Djibouti Electricity Co. and Ethiopian Electric Power Corp.

Considered the first of its kind in the Horn of Africa, the project is expected to improve power trade within the region and be a component of the Eastern African Power Pool, which is under development.

Ethiopia officials hope to generate millions of dollars in foreign currency by exporting excess electricity from three hydroelectric projects the nation is building at a cost of US$1.4 billion, 300-MW Tekeze, 420-MW Gilgel Gibe 2, and 435-MW Beles. (HNN 4/18/07)

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