APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Friday announced that it has approved $104 million to finance to the Ethiopian the government’s new transmission project that aims to improve power supply in the eastern part of the country.
The financing includes a $52 million grant from AfDB’s concessional lending arm the African Development Fund.
The remaining $52 million soft loan is drawn from Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund.
Batchi Baldeh, the Director of Power Systems Development of the Bank, in a statement said the project would improve access to clean, reliable electricity supply by increasing the capacity of the power grid.
He added: “Improving the power grid in the east of the country will address brownouts and load shedding in the region, connect more industries and households to the electricity network, and eliminate the use of diesel generators, which currently provide a basic electricity supply”.
Above all, the bank says the project will facilitate the launch of the government’s regional agricultural irrigation program targeting 462,174 hectares currently under design.
The program is key to tackling the region’s food-security challenge as well as providing adequate fodder for livestock, per AfDB.
The project will involve the construction of 157 kilometers of 400-kilovolt double-circuit transmission lines and associated substations at Harar, Jijiga, and Fafem.
These will boost the power transfer capacity in the eastern part of Ethiopia, says the bank adding it will serve as a take-off point for future power interconnection to neighboring Somalia.