China to build electrical engineering centre in Addis Ababa

An Ethiopian lineman at work (Rod Waddington/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)
The Civil Engineering Construction Corporation of China (CCECC) has agreed to build a “centre of excellence” in Addis Ababa to help train Ethiopian electrical engineers.

The facility would be for the national Ethiopian Electricity Utility (EEU), reports local broadcaster Fana.

EEU chief executive Shiferaw Telila said the centre would help make its service “reliable, efficient and advanced, compatible with contemporary technology”.

The $167m facility will have workshops and laboratories for training and research, a control centre, a meeting hall and dormitories for students and guests, as well as extensive sports facilities, including a football pitch and an athletics track.

With its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia has made electricity generation a cornerstone of its development plans.

The country has the potential to generate around 60GW from hydroelectricity, wind, solar and geothermal sources. However, the system is struggling to supply more than 110 million people, and load shedding is common.

In the future, the authorities expect that demand will grow by as much as 30% a year as the country’s economy expands.

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