Feb 05, 2010
Ethiopia prepares case for megahydropower project fundingBack
Addis Ababa|Djibouti|Development Bank|Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation|Hydropower|Investment Bank|Mid Day International Consulting|Salini Costruttori SA|Africa|Djibouti|Ethiopia|Italy|Kenya|Sudan|USD|Bank|Electricity|Energy Crisis|Lake Turkana|Omo River|River Omo|Colin Bruce|Kenichi Ohashi|Obiageli Ezekwesili|Robert Zoellick|Samir Omar|Thierry Tanoh
© Reuse this
Should it go ahead, the project will be Ethiopia’s single largest investment, with a $1,7-billion price tag and capacity to generate 1 800 MW of electricity, some of which will be exported to countries like Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.
Already Kenya is banking on the project to solve recurring energy crises and negotiations are ongoing for the importation of 500 MW.
During her visit to Kenya, in November last year, World Bank vice-president for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili revealed the bank had raised concerns about the manner in which the Ethiopian government was managing the project.
In particular, the bank queried the environmental- and social-impact assessment (ESIA) on the grounds that it was not conclusive enough and also disputed the award of the contract to an Italian company without competitive bidding.
“Africa has the potential to be another pole of growth for the world economy,” said the bank.
]According to an official at Kenya’s Ministry of Energy, the Ethiopian government has prepared a strong case to convince the World Bank boss about the Gibe III project’s importance to the economies of Ethiopia and other countries in the region.
“The project is going to affect more that 500 000 people living downstream, and we feel it should be abandoned,” says Samir Omar, of Friends of Lake Turkana, from which the Omo river drains.
Various reports show the World Bank, and the EIB, are consider- ing withholding funding for the project because the ESIA prepared by CESI & Mid Day International Consulting was not conclusive and failed to deal with the effects on downstream communities.
The financers are also querying the manner in which the Ethiopian government awarded the construction contract to Salini Costruttori, of Italy.
The report states the company was awarded a no-bid engineering, procurement and construction contract largely owing to its past engagement with the Ethiopian government.
“The contract, worth $1,7-billion, violates Ethiopia’s federal public procurement directives,” it states.
The possibilities of financers withholding funding has resulted in unprecedented concern in Ethiopia, considering 35% of the work has been done.
This includes diverting the water in order to build what is billed to be the tallest dam in Africa, at 787 ft. The dam will have a storage capacity of 11,75-billion cubic metres.
Power exports from the planned project could rake in $407-million annually, much more than what Ethiopia earns from exports of coffe, the country’s major foreign currency earner.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Updated 7 hours ago The African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) board of directors on Wednesday approved a $20-million trade finance line of credit to be provided to housing and habitat company Shelter Afrique (SHAF) to boost the availability of trade finance instruments to small and...
Updated 7 hours ago South African construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) on Wednesday said the proposed acquisition of the outstanding shares in Australian company Clough had been implemented, making Clough a wholly owned subsidiary of the group. M&R, which previously already held a...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.