Ethiopia to launch “$7bn worth” of solar, hydropower and highway PPP schemes

Needing more electricity to power its growing manufacturing sector, Ethiopia’s Office of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) announced $7bn worth of energy and road schemes on Friday, 26 October.

Dr Teshome Tafese, director general of the office, told state broadcaster Fana the projects will be launched this fiscal year after necessary tendering procedures.

The embrace of PPPs, in which private sector consortiums finance construction of the asset and seek profit from the revenue it generates, comes as concerns grow over the fast-developing country’s debt levels. (See further reading below)

Ethiopia has been rapidly commissioning industrial parks to shift its economy from agriculture toward light manufacturing.

Schemes announced Friday include 14 power projects and three highways.

The highways are from Adama to Awash (125km), Awash to Mieso (72km) and Mieso to Dire Dawa (160km).

According to New Business Ethiopia (NBE), the combined value of the highway schemes is just over $1.1bn.

The 14 power projects include a mix of hydropower and solar schemes.

NBE lists the hydropower schemes as: the $1.2bn, 424MW Halele Warabessa project; the $984m, 798MW Dabus project; the $793m, 469MW Genale Dawa 5 project; and $729m, 280MW Chemoga Yeda 1 and 2 projects.

Solar schemes itemised by NBE involve eight projects, each with generating capacity ranging from 100MW to 150MW, in Welenchiti, Weranso, Mekele, Metema, Hurso and Metehara, among others.

Investment sought for the solar schemes totals $1.17bn, according to NBE’s list.

The investment values itemised total just under $6bn; it is not known if the list is comprehensive.

Image: A 2011 street scene in Ethiopia, which is transitioning from an agrarian to industrial economy (msafari2425/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0 [])

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