METEC fails to deliver Ethiopia’s 4.1 billion birr power project

Four years after the construction of Ethiopia’s 4.1 billion birr (around $150 million) Melka Sedi thermal power generation plant began, only less than 30% of the total project is completed.

The project was given to the military owned Metal and Engineering Corporation (METEC), whose officials are currently in jail for grand corruption and abuse of wealth of the nation in billions of dollars. The project was meant to burn the Prospis Dellin weed found in Afar Region of Ethiopia and generate 137.5 megawatts of electricity.

METEC and Grace Engineering Company have got the contract to construct the 4.16 billion birr Melka Sedi thermal power, while EEP is mentioned as the consulting firm of its own project, according to April 2018 news bulletin report of EEP.

The construction of Melka Sedi thermal power, which is located in Amibara Afar Region 270 kilometers, was launched in Mid-June 2014. The project was supposed to be completed in two years, according to the agreement. Even though additional seven months are given to METEC and Grace Engineering Company, only 28.32% of the project is completed, according to September 2018 EEP news bulletin.

Meanwhile it is not clear how and why the project was awarded to METEC and Grace Engineering Company, which have no experience in constructing such a power generation plant.

The news bulletin of EEP has quoted manager of the project Mr. Fuffa Jebessa as saying: “The project incurs more than 4.16 million birr, which is totally covered by the Government of Ethiopia. Currently more than 100 inhabitants have participated in different activities of the project.”

Meanwhile the report didn’t indicate how much METEC and Grace Engineering Company have been paid so far.

This is the second power project METEC failed to deliver next to Ethiopia’s biggest hydroelectric dam, Great Renaissance Dam (GERD). GERD, which so far consumed 98 billion birr, was supposed to be completed in five years when the project was launched in 2011.

Meanwhile, as a result of poor project management of METEC, which reportedly made over two billion dollars leave the country as a result of improper purchase of inputs for the construction of the dam, oly 65% of the project is completed to this date.