Wind energy in Ethiopia: Ashegoda wind farm ready

Ashegoda Wind Farm, which has an installed capacity of generating 120 Megawatts of electricity, is said to be ready for inauguration.

Vergnet SA of France signed an Engineering Procurement Commissioning (EPC) contract with the state utility company, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO), to build the wind farm 10 km from Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray regional state, in October 2008.

This project is part of the Ethiopian government's plan to generate up to 890 MW of wind energy by the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) period. The Ethiopian Government's goal in promoting such kinds of projects is to create a climate-shockproof economy by the year 2025.

“We finance projects that go in line with the government's priorities and energy is one of them. The Ashegoda wind farm project is one of our most important projects and it will be inaugurated next week,” Christian Yoka, Regional Director for the French Development Agency (AFD) told.

The financing for the project, which reportedly cost about 210 million Euros, comes principally from the French Development Agency AFD, and the French financial institution, BNP Paribas as a soft loan and grant.

The Regional Director also stated that AFD is working with EEPCO on yet another project involving the Corporation's transmission lines. “We are working on financing a project that will improve the transmission lines of EEPCO, mainly the one between Akaki and Mojo, at a cost of 50 Million Euros,” he told Capital in an exclusive interview. He further stated that AFD is also financing the upgrading of the Corporation's network for 50 million Euros.

“Energy is one of the top priorities of the country and the government is interested in having a mixed source of energy,” Yoka stated.

By the end of 2014, AFD hopes to finance many more projects including upgrading the existing ones and building new abattoirs with 40 million Euros and a project involving a new transport system in Addis Ababa also for 40 million Euros.