Ethiopia, which plans to become the electricity power houses in Africa in the next half a decade, has said it will consider hydro electricity export to Yemen if a conclusive study shows the venture will be viable and profitable, World Bulletin reported.
Under the country’s 2010 five-year growth and transformation plan, the horn of Africa landlocked nation Ethiopia plans to increase its power generation to 10,000 Megawatts from just 2,300 currently and to sustain its economic growth at 11-15 percent per year until 2015.
Ethiopia plans to eventually be able to export over 4,000 megawatts of hydro-power to some nine countries in the East African region. This could eventually be extended to North and South African nations.
“The idea is not yet supported by study. The plan requires to conduct a lot of studies,” World Bulletin quoted Misikir Negash, head of public relations for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, saying. “A study on technical matters will soon be launched,” he added.
If the idea is approved by Ethiopian authorities, a cable will be laid to carry electricity to Yemen via the Red Sea.
A delegation of Yemeni officials visited Ethiopia last month to discuss the issue, an official at Yemen’s embassy in Addis Ababa told AA.
“Yemen is planning to buy 100 megawatts of electric power via Djibouti,” the embassy official said. “However, the case is [still] being digested.”
Ethiopia currently sells 100 megawatts of electric power to Sudan, 35 megawatts to Djibouti and 400 megawatts to Kenya.
Following completion of a massive hydroelectric dam that Addis Ababa is currently building on the Nile River, Ethiopia will be able to export surplus electricity to purchasers in North Africa and the Middle East.