Sudan, Ethiopia inaugurate electricity line linking two countries

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Addis Ababa, 4 December 2013 (WIC) - Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Wednesday inaugurated the inter-connecting electricity line between the two countries in Geddarif State in eastern Sudan.

Sudan's Minister of Electricity and Water Resources Osma Abullah, addressing the inauguration ceremony, said that "the inter-connecting electricity project constitutes a new lifeline for the peoples of Sudan and Ethiopia."

Abullah explained that the cost of the project amounted to 70 million U.S dollars with a fund from the India Funding and Import Bank and a considerable contribution from the two countries' governments.

He noted that the capacity of the line is 350 megawatts and extends for 321 km, reiterating the project tends to achieve an increase in the stability of electricity supply in the Sudanese and Ethiopian electric networks.

"We are working to enhance the two countries' ties and leverage the commercial side with 100 to 150 million dollars annually to decrease the thermal generating and provide electricity for the border villages," he added.

Ethiopian Minister of Water and Energy Alemayehu Tegenum, for his part, said that the benefit of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would not be for Ethiopia alone, but for the whole region as was confirmed by the International Panel of Experts on the dam.

Meanwhile, Sudan is to begin importing and purchasing the electricity from Ethiopia as of Wednesday, where the two countries agreed that Sudan would purchase 100 megawatts during the first phase subject to increase.

The project avails for Sudan to purchase electricity from Ethiopia to fill in an expected gap in electricity in Sudan.(Xinhua)

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