European Investment Bank to Finance Aisha I Wind Farm Project

By Kaleyesus Bekele
Dec. 10, 2012

Corporation secures loan for Adama II

The European Investment Bank notified the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) of its decision to finance Aisha I wind farm project.

The Aisha wind farm project that will be built on the Djibouti Road between Dire Dawa and Djibouti will have three generating plants, each with 100 MW. On Saturday, Mihret Debebe, EEPCo’s CEO, told reporters that different financiers have expressed interest in financing the three wind farm projects. Mihret said the European Investment Bank informed EEPCo two weeks ago that it has fully accepted the Aisha I wind farm project, adding that the bank will soon start project appraisal.

The China EXIM Bank has shown interest in financing Aisha I and Aisha II wind farm projects. Project appraisals will commence soon. Miheret said the Aisha wind farm project is very feasible. “This project is found between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. The Ethio-Djibouti Railway Corporation needs a huge amount of electric energy. “All our stakeholders like the Aisha project. It is a very bankable project,” the CEO said.

In related news, EEPCo secured a concessional loan for the Adama II wind farm project from the China EXIM Bank.

The wind farm, with an installed generation capacity of 153 MW, will cost 345 million dollars. The Chinese construction firm, Hydro China International, will undertake the construction in partnership with another Chinese firm, CGCOC. The two companies joint venture successfully completed the Adama I wind farm project.

The second wind farm project is located between the towns of Adama and Modjo. Miheret said the second Adama wind farm project will have 100 turbines, adding that the construction will take 18 months. According to her, 85 percent of the cost of the project will be financed by EXIM Bank of China, and the remaining will be covered by the government of Ethiopia.

The Chinese firms that built Adama I-Hydro China and CGOC-will undertake the construction of Adama II.

Miheret added that wind farm projects are more expensive than hydro-it costs around 2 million Euros per MW. “However, still it is feasible. If we enhance the willingness to pay, it will be more feasible. The Ethiopian government highly subsidises the energy sector,” Mihret said. According to her, EEPCo has started exporting electric energy to neighbouring countries, which will boost the country’s ability to pay back concessional loans.

EEPCo inaugurated the Adama wind farm project last Saturday. The Adama I wind farm project, with an installed generation capacity of 51 MW, is built at a cost of 117 million dollars in the outskirt of Adama town, 98 km east of Addis Ababa. The wind farm has a total of 34 towers, each with a generating capacity of 1.5 MW.

The total cost of the project is 117 million dollars, of which 85 percent is covered by a loan secured from the Chinese EXIM Bank. The Ethiopian government financed the remaining 15 percent. A Chinese firm called Hydro China carried out the mechanical work while CGOC, another Chinese firm undertook the civil work.

The wind farm started generation with a full swing last June. A 132 KV transmission line, which is 4.5 km long, has been built. Another trasmission line-33 KV and seven km long- that connects the Adama wind power project with the national grid was built. The construction of the substation is also finalised.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Water and Energy, who attended the inauguration ceremony, said that their government is committed to make Ethiopia the power house of Africa.

Source: TheReporterEthiopia.com