Russia eyes investments in Ethiopia energy sector

One of the major energy companies in Russia, Energy solutions, electro technical holding company ERSO), has shown interest to invest in energy sector of Ethiopia.

The company’s management led by Mr. Goran Malbasic, CEO of ERSO – Energy solutions, electro technical holding company with global presence is briefed by Ethiopian Embassy in Russia about investment opportunities in the Energy sector in Ethiopia.

“The Ethiopian Embassy in the Russian Federation had a very fruitful and productive discussion yesterday with Mr. Goran Malbasic, CEO of Energy solutions, electro technical holding company with global presence (ERSO) on investment opportunities in the Energy sector,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

“ERSO is one of the most respected company having100 years of service in the energy industry, excel in specialized supplies, servicing and exporting of high, medium and low voltage power Generation distribution and transmission equipments which include distribution transformers, power reactors and renewable energy solution,” it said.

It is recalled that the Government of Ethiopia and Russia has signed deal a few years ago to develop nuclear energy for Ethiopia to be used for medical and other non-military applications.

The company’s profile states that ERSO is a diversified integrated company focused on complex equipment and implementation of new construction projects, reconstruction and modernization of energy facilities.
The Group of Companies includes 4 production sites, its own design and research institutes, a design office, service and testing centers.

Even though the interest of Russia has declined after the collapse of the for Soviet Union (now- Russia), in the past several years it has reactivated its cooperation with African countries.
Meanwhile Russia is even less significant as an investment partner for Africa. Russia’s trade with Africa is booming, especially its exports (up 84 % in 2018).

Reports show that the EU, China and the US are far larger partners for Africa (35 %, 20 % and 6 % respectively of African trade) than Russia. Weapons (included under non-specified items) are Russia’s main export to Africa, which in turn exports mostly agricultural goods (such as fruit and cocoa) to Russia.

However, it still represents only 3 % of Russia’s total international trade in goods, and 2 % of Africa’s.

Among the key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries is energy and military. Russia’s two biggest defense customers in Africa are Algeria and Egypt, which purchased $8 billion and $3.1 billion worth of Russian arms during the 10-year 2009-2018 period; however, it also supplies many sub-Saharan countries.

Altogether, Russia accounted for 39 % of the continent’s defense imports during the period, with a clearly rising trend, from $1.1 billion worth of Russian exports in 2009 to double that amount 10 years later ($2.1 billion), according to a briefing paper to the European Parliament.

“Apart from Syria, Russia has no bases of its own outside its ex-Soviet neighborhood, a factor that limits its capacity to project military power internationally. It therefore has deals with several African countries giving it access to airbases and seaports. This has also led to speculation about negotiations with countries including Sudan and Mozambique, with a view to establishing permanent bases there. So far, Moscow has come closest to this goal in Eritrea, where in September 2018 it signed a preliminary agreement to establish a logistics base. The new facility, once built, will make Russia one of several countries – including the US, China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – with bases in this strategically located region, close to the entrance to the Red Sea,” the paper stated.