Ethiopia eyes producing 1,200MW nuclear energy



Ethiopian government says it would target up to 1,200 Megawatts (MW) of electricity from nuclear energy as part of the objectives under is national energy expansion master plan.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by a consulting firm hired by the state-run Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) as it presented its report to donors, financiers and academics.

The horn of Africa country needs to consider generating between 300-1,200 MW of power from nuclear energy to meet its total power demand of 37,000 MW by 2037, consulting outfit Parsons Brinckerhoff said.

Out of this total power to be generated after 25 years, some 4,000 MW will be exported.

A page showing Ethiopia’s existing and committed hydropower output. The country aims to generate up top 37,000 MW of power by 2037.

“We need to broaden our options; that is why we are considering energy sources such as nuclear,” EEPCo chief executive Mihret Debebe later told reporters.

Media reports say that uranium deposits were found six years ago in Bale zone in the country’s Oromia Region.

Currently Russian Geological Survey firm Zaru Bezggeologia and its Ethiopian counterpart are analysing it.

The country’s 25 years power system master plan shows that $156 billion is required for about 550 projects that would be implemented to meet the demand by 2037.

Hydropower covers some 80 per cent of total energy the country plans to generate, followed by geothermal sources.

“Investment in power is the least risky and sustainable investment. I am sure the banks will get their money back on time when we link to the anticipated regional power market where power price is regulated under the East African Power Pool,” Mr Mihret said.

Currently the country generates around 2,270 MW of electricity mainly from hydropower and 170 MW from two wind farms – Adama I and Ashegoda projects.

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