Ethiopian earned $123 million (2.6 billion birr) in the first eight months of 2015/16 budget year from the sale of electricity locally and abroad, an official said.

“The Ethiopian Electric Service in general has collected a total of 2.6 billion birr in eight months, achieving 82 per cent of its target,” said Water, Irrigation and Electricity minister Motuma Mekassasaid in his report to parliament Tuesday.

Mr Motuma did not, however, give a breakdown of the earnings from the exports and the local market.

Ethiopia has been selling electricity to Djibouti and Sudan for the past few years. The construction of the 500 Kilovolt power system, which connects the country with Kenya, was 29 per cent complete.

Current drought

Ethiopia earned close to $33 million from electric power sales to Djibouti in nine months of the 2013/14 budget year (July 8, 2013 – March 7, 2014).

The minister also indicated that progress had been made in the constructions of power stations and the expansion of transmission lines for Ethiopia’s new nine industrial zones.

Mr Motuma stated that Ethiopia’s power generation potential was highly impacted by the current drought, noting that the country was constructing eight power stations, including the 6,000 megawatts Renaissance Dam.


Service provider

The Renaissance Dam was 50 per cent complete.

Meanwhile, the government was only able to provide power to 20 per cent of the 390,000 customers, who the state service provider planned to bring on board between July 8, 2015 and April 7, 2016, according to the minister.

“The performance was poor mainly because of the delay in the provision of equipment,” he said, stating that a 1.44 billion birr contract was already signed and some equipment was on the way, while some was being manufactured locally.

Ethiopia has recently been experiencing power outage, including the capital, Addis Ababa, which the government says was caused by the shortage water going to the hydro dams because of drought.

Also failed

The state-owned power distributor had also failed to meet its target of providing the total power needed for the new Ethiopian-Djibouti railway.

The previous plan was to fully provide power for the railway from July 2014-November 2015.

But in the last eight months, the agency had only achieved 36 per cent, according to the minister’s report.