Addis Ababa, July 22, 2010 (ENA) –
An Ethio-German Joint Venture known as Aethiopic Energy Plc is on the process of launching a wind energy development project in Ethiopia which is estimated to cost 600 million US dollars, its General Manager (GM) said. It also targets to establish a wind industry in Ethiopia that can produce wind turbines locally.
In an exclusive interview with ENA on Wednesday, Dr. Peer Ederer, the General Manager of Joint Venture, said that so far, two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed. He said the first MoU that was signed between his company and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) would provide for the development of a wind energy in an area known as locally “Aisha” in eastern Ethiopia close to Djibouti border.
About 300 mega watt of electricity which will be enough to produce 10 terra watt hour can be generated from the Aisha area, he said.The project would cost approximately 600 million US dollars.
Asked who would finance the project, Dr. Ederer replied that his company as well as many other creditors would make available the fund for the project. “… the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, commercial banks and many private banks around the world which have a sincere interest in financing the Aisha Project “ will be the sources of the fund..
Dr. Ederer said Ethiopia has a very good wind resources in which a substantial amount of electricity could be generated at a reasonable cost that can be exported to neighboring countries. The north, central, east and southwest parts of Ethiopia are among the major areas where there is vast resource of winds which can used for the development of wind energy.
These areas are very suitable for development of wind energy, as they are under-populated, said Dr. Ederer, who is also an owner of a German-based company called Innovation and Growth.
He said Ethiopia could be able to earn millions of US dollars from the export of the wind energy to neighboring countries following the launching of the project after the final agreement is signed.
Dr. Ederer said his company and EEPCo are holding further discussions leading to the signing of the final agreement.
According Dr. Ederer, the 2nd MoU signed would help Ethiopia enjoy the transfer of wind turbine technology into its soil. This will enable to produce wind turbines locally through the involvement of a joint venture consisting of a consortium of many Ethiopian and European private companies and the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ). “Our target is to establish a wind industry in Ethiopia,” he said.
This costs approximately to 300 million USD plus four billion Birr, Dr. Ederer said
The localization of the production of wind turbines through the technology transfer encompasses numerous benefits for Ethiopia. Saving foreign currency, creation of jobs and facilitation of access to finance are among the major benefits in which country gets, according to Dr. Ederer.
He reiterated that local production of wind turbine is a very important issue for Ethiopia considering its significance in transferring technology and saving foreign currency. Thus, he said, the private sector need to be encouraged to come and invest in this sector in the country.