Ethiopia sees output from Africa’s biggest power plant by 2015

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Addis Ababa, 20 March 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopia will begin generating electricity within 18 months from what will be Africa’s largest power plant, the government said.
Two turbines at the plant will start producing 750 megawatts of power during the Ethiopian calendar year that begins Sept. 11, depending on rainfall patterns, said Zadig Abraha, deputy general director of the GERD national coordination office.
The sale of 7.1 billion birr ($367 million) of bonds over the past three years to domestic investors, has contributed to the 27 billion birr spent so far on the 80 billion birr Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, he said.
Ethiopia’s funding of the 6,000-megawatt hydropower project represents “the golden age of our history as far as economic development and public participation is concerned,” Zadig said.
The government already exports power to Sudan and Djibouti. It’s also building a transmission line to Kenya and is in discussions with Yemen and South Sudan, Zadig said.
Once GERD is finished, and other hydropower projects including the 1,870-megawatt Gibe III are on line, Ethiopia may earn $2 billion a year from the exports, he said. (businessweek.com)