Ethiopia: Electric Power Prepares Draft Master Plan for Electricity Distribution At $3.5m

The plan which will improve supply to Addis Abeba and its environs, was financed by an AfDB loan

The Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) has developed the final draft of a master plan for electric power distribution in Addis Abeba and its surrounding areas, at the cost of 3.5 million dollars, financed through a loan obtained from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The distribution master plan, which is for the next 20 years, looks at gaps in the electricity distribution network in order to fill the growing demand, includes a distribution improvement plan, an environmental and social assessment study and the transfer of technology to EEP. The plan incorporates the 10 districts of Addis Abeba and 12 Oromia towns within a 50Km radius.

  • Development of the master plan started in 2014. The document was presented on June 11, 2015 by Oona Nanka (PhD.), principal power systems engineer at Parsons Brinckerhoff, the UK firm contracted to do the drafting, at a meeting attended by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EEP, Azeb Asnake (Eng.).

    The plan will assess existing conditions and upgrade the existing capacity in terms of generation, transaction and distribution. It will also estimate the size and location of load and forecast loads, integrate the electric distribution system with existing plans for construction and other infrastructure, identify capacity shortfalls, and add to the transformers’ existing capacity which is 132Kv.

    For future network challenges, the draft plan proposes to increase supply using primary substations and underground cables, introducing 133Kv capacity to existing substations, improving the capacity of transformers and distribution lines. It also proposes repairing existing networks and installing new expressway networks. In the long term, the proposed projects require an estimated 1.6 billion dollars, which will be funded by development partners, Misiker Negash, EEP external relations head told Fortune.

    According to the EEP’s top executive, the draft master plan is developed to identify the whereabouts of the problems. Other than the 25-year master plan for the whole country, there was no specific master plan for Addis Abeba, she added. The GTP I also had no specific targets for Addis Abeba, she disclosed, but the draft master plan and its proposed recommendations are going to be used as an input and reference in the second GTP.

    “It does not mean anything if I do not mention the exact demand for electricity in Addis Abeba. However, there are continuous power interruptions in the city and the actual supply is not more than 60pc to 70pc of the total demand,” Azeb said after a press briefing held at Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday June 11, 2015.

    Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Water, Irrigation & Energy also weighed in, saying that the demand for energy is growing at 25pc to 32pc annually in the country. Actual supply for the whole country amounted to 2,300MW in GTP I, but the government wants to attain the 10,000MW mark by the end of the second GTP. The 10,000MW figure was initially conceived as a target for the end of this fiscal year in a few weeks, which is also the end of the GTP I period.

    The World Bank awarded Ethiopia last place in Africa, with power utilization of 45kWh per person in 2009, the year before GTP I was launched, as compared to South Africa, which ranks first with 4,532kWh. The Bank gave a slightly higher rating of 51.96kWh for 2011. Total power consumption in Ethiopia in 2014 was, according to the World Bank, 4,645,000,000kWh, compared to 6,515,000,000kWh in Kenya and 6,715,000,000kWh in Sudan.

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