China lends Ethiopia S$1.2b for mega-dam power lines

April 27, 2013

Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region
Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region

ADDIS ABABA (REUTERS) – Ethiopia secured a US$1 billion (S$1.2 billion) loan from China on Friday to build transmission lines linking its capital Addis Ababa with Africa’s biggest hydropower dam being built on the Nile.

Ethiopia wants to become one of the world’s leading power exporters and plans to invest more than US$12 billion to harness energy from the rivers running off its rugged highlands. It aims to generate over 40,000 MW of hydropower in the next two decades.

Centerpiece among an array of projects in the Horn of Africa country is the US$4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region, which is designed to generate 6,000 MW upon completion.

China has invested heavily in African infrastructure and its companies often pick up work building projects it has financed.