Ethiopia eyes selling electric power to Gulf countries

The Ethiopian Government expressed its plan to sell electric power to Gulf Countries by signing and agreement to launch feasibility study on Saturday.

The east African country with huge amount of renewable energy potential signed the deal with Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority and International Energy Linking Organization (GEIDCO).

After signing the agreement on January 12, 2014, Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister Engineer Sileshi Bekele said the interconnection of energy between countries, regions and continents is one of the most important ways to unite people for mutual benefit and economic prosperity.

In the past few years Ethiopia has been earning over a hundred million dollars annually by selling electricity to the neighboring countries Djibouti and the Sudan.

Construction of East Africa’s first high voltage direct current (HVDC) power line project is underway with a total cost estimate of $1 billion, the funding of which is obtained from Africa Development Bank.

Once the project concludes in 2019, electricity exchange between Ethiopia and Kenya is expected to begin. Meanwhile, it is not yet clear how feable it would be for the landlocked Ethiopia to connect with Gulf Countries.

“The link with Ethiopia is part of the strategy approved by the board to contribute to the creation of electricity market and the promotion of electricity exchange.” said UAE Energy and Industry Undersecretary and member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority Matar Al Nayadi.

He pointed out that the linking projects aim to spare the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) electricity networks for any partial or total interruption by 100 percent by providing instantaneous support for the required power transmission via the electrical connection network directly.

The Gulf Electricity Interconnection project is one of the most important infrastructure projects approved by the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to enhance energy security and raise the level of reliability and safety of the Gulf electrical systems, according to report.