China Lends Ethiopia $1 Billion USD for Mega-dam Power Lines


By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, April 27, 2013 – Ethiopia secured a $1 billion loan from China on Friday to build transmission lines linking its capital Addis Ababa with Africa’s biggest hydropower dam being built on the Nile.

Ethiopia wants to become one of the world’s leading power exporters and plans to invest more than $12 billion to harness energy from the rivers running off its rugged highlands.

It aims to generate over 40,000 MW of hydropower in the next two decades.

Centerpiece among an array of projects in the Horn of Africa country is the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region, which is designed to generate 6,000 MW upon completion.

China has invested heavily in African infrastructure and its companies often pick up work building projects it has financed. Some deals have also secured China greater access to Africa’s abundant mineral wealth.

Chinese state utility Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) signed the deal to finance and build 400-kilovolt and 500-kilovolt transmission lines to connect the mega-dam to Ethiopia’s capital.

EEPCo Chief Executive Mihret Debebe said the project would enable Ethiopia to become a “green energy hub” in Africa.

The loan will also enable the construction of two distribution sub-stations for the dam.

Few details of China’s loan were immediately available, but Debebe indicated it would carry a favourable, below-market interest rate.



Related Post

Ethiopia to Get Chinese Funds for $1 Billion Hydropower Line

By William Davison

Ethiopia will receive funds from China for a transmission line valued at $1 billion that will bring electricity from a hydropower plant to the capital, Addis Ababa according to a government official.

The 619-kilometer (385-mile) link from the 6,000-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River will be constructed over the next three years by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology, Deputy Prime Minister of Economy and Finance Debretsion Gebremichael told reporters in Addis Ababa today.

“The construction of this big transmission line will help benefit our economy and to ensure our industrial development,” he said. Funding for the two 500-kilovolt cables will come primarily from the Export-Import Bank of China, Debretsion said.

Ethiopia, which according to the World Bank has the second- highest hydropower potential in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo, hopes to finish the self-funded $5-billion Nile dam in 2018. The project will be the continent’s biggest power plant.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at



Renaissance Dam Power Transmission Project signed

China Provides $1 Billion for Renaissance Dam Transmission Lines

By Zeryihun Kassa

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam-Dedesa-Holeta 500 KV Power Transmission Project has been signed between Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co.Itd.

The transmission line is of double circuit and it stretches 1238 km from the Renaissance Dam to Dedesa to Holeta through 500kv transmission line. There will be two new substations in Dedesa and Holeta. The over 98 km transmission line of 400kv stretches from Holeta to three existing substations: Sebeta II, Sululta II and Akaki II. The total transmission line is 1336kv long.

The total transmission line contract price is US$ 820 million and the two substations construction costs over US$ 359 million. The overall cost of the project is over US$ 1.17 billion.

The Chinese Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co.Itd covers 85 % of the cost of the project from Chinese financial sources while the balance is financed by Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation. This implies the Chinese provide over a billion dollar to the construction of the transmission line project, which of course shows the very close relationship between China and Ethiopia.

When interest combined, the total contract amount of the project is over US$ 1.4 billion. The Project duration of the contract is 28 months after two months of the signing ceremony.

In the signing ceremony, CEO of EEPCo Mihret Debebe said the signing of the contract is historic as the Chinese keep providing financial support to such huge project to which the country attaches profound significance.

The Chinese responded saying Ethiopia is a strong economic and political ally in Africa and the cooperation between the two nations will remain strong.

The signing ceremony is attended by Dr. Debretsiyon Gebremichael with Deputy Prime Minister Portfolio, Minister of Water and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ahmed Shide and other dignitaries.

Source: ERTA


EEPCo, Chinese Company Ink Billion Dollar Transmission Line Deal

By Yetneberk Tadele

Lines to Connect Grand Renaissance Dam to National Grid to be Completed in two years

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) signed a 1.2 billion dollar agreement with the Chinese company, State Grid of China Electric Power Equipment & Technology Co. Ltd (SGCC) for the installation of high-voltage electric transmission lines.

The government will be spending 180 million dollars for the project. The 1.02 billion dollar difference is covered through a loan obtained from a Chinese government bank.

The deal was signed by Jia Zhi Qiang CEO of SGCC and Mihret Debebe, CEO of EEPCo. Debretsion Gebremichael, minister of Communication & Information Technology and Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Water & Energy were also present at the signing ceremony on Thursday, April 26, 2013 held at the Sheraton Addis.

The project will help connect the power generated from the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GEDR) to the national grid. Implementation is expected to be underway within a month.

The transmission lines, which will carry 500kV of power from the GERD to Dedesa and Holeta, a 619Km stretch, will transmit via two 500kV double circuit transmission lines to the new Dedesa and Holeta substations.

These lines will later link up with the already existing Sebeta II, Sululta II, and Akaki II substations.

In the second lot, a 400kV double circuit line from GERD to Beles and Bahir Dar is already is under construction.

“Our plan is to complete the construction of the transmission lines in 24 months, before the end of the GERD,” said Mihret. “When completed, the transmission lines will help to connect South Sudan and theSudan.”

Since breaking ground, the GERD has reached 18pc of completion, according to the figures that Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn presented during his nine month report to Parliament last week. The Dam’s 5.4 billion Br cost does not include the 1.2 billion Br allocated for the construction of transmission lines.

When complete, the hydropower station will have the capacity to generate around 6,000Mw of electricity. With significant investment in hydropower dam projects along the Nile, Omo andGibe Rivers,Ethiopiaaims to fulfil its goals of becomingAfrica’s electricity exporter.

It started exporting electricity toDjiboutiin June 2011 and began a pilot project exporting toSouth Sudan. The Corporation plans to start exporting to South Sudan and theSudanafter the completion of the power transmission lines.

“We are ready to share our vast experience and complete the project according to schedule,” said Du Zhi Gang, president of SGCC.

SGCC, headquartered inBeijing, is the largest electric power transmission and distribution company inChinaand the largest utilities company in the world. It was ranked eighth in the 2010 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies by revenue and has moved one place up in the 2011 Fortune Global 500 list.

The public company was restructured whenChinaunderwent electricity “Plant-Grid Separation” reform in early 2000. The company was classified as part of a power generation group, and was mandated, along with its five subsidiaries to operate power transmission, distribution and other assets of the old State Electric Power Corporation.

SGCC built and owns one of the world’s largest capacity High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) systems. It completed the project in 2010, although its capacity was surpassed by the Jinping-Sunan HVDC scheme which was put into operation in December 2012.

Source: Addis Fortune