Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia will generate 8,000 to 10,000 MW of power from renewable energy sources in the coming five years.
The premier said government eyes at exporting power to neighboring countries beyond satisfying the ever growing local demand.
The Mega Beles Multi-purpose Hydro-electric Power Project constructed at cost of more than 7.1 billion birr was officially inaugurated on Friday.
On the occasion, Meles said government covered the full cost of the project launched July 2005.
He said the project came in to existence after 100 years overcoming the geo-political complexity of the project.
Drawing lessens from Gilegel Gibe II , the tunnel work of Beles project carried out with much care, the premier said.
PM Meles said government constructed three hydro electric power projects which generate 1200 MW of power as it depicts government firm commitment.
He said government is to launch the construction of Chemo Gayda power generation project along with the ongoing Amertinesh and Gibe II projects as part of the effort to address the ever increased power demand.
The project, which has a capacity to generate 460 Mega Watt and develop 140, 000 hectares of land, is the largest of the power plants so far constructed in the country. It will also raise existing electric power supply by 23 per cent.
Mine and energy Minster Alemayehu Tegenu on his part said the transparent and effective policies and strategies are proven to be instrumental in ensuring sustainable economic growth registered over the last seven years in a row.
The minister said the energy policy of the country has enabled private actors to engage in the sector.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Mihiret Debebe on his part said EEPCo is implementing a 25 year Master Plan to address the incresing power demand in the country. He said the activites being carried out within the farmwwork of the plan are paying off.
Mihret said wide range of EEPCo activities over the past ten years have created jobs for thousands of people.
The Beles Mega project is environmentally friendly, feasible and apply state-of- the-art technologies and offer opportunities for technology transfer is a part of the plan , he said.The project will ease power shortage in the country.
It was noted more than 4,000 workers have participated in the construction of the project. Some 3,800 are Ethiopians while the rest are foreigners from 37 countries.
Through there was an intention to construct power projects at Beles since the time of Emperor Menelik the II the previous regimes were unable to realize the project, he noted.
Amhara State Chief Ayalew Gobeze on his part said the project will significantly contribute to advance the agricultural led economic policy of the country.
Salini Construtorii General Manager Marco Balconi on his part said his company has constructed various social facilities for the local people.
He said the company would extend its support for the Ethiopian government’s effort to fulfill the energy demand of the people.
It was noted that the Mega Beles Multi-purpose Hydro-electric Power Project will go fully operational in the coming two months.
The Mega Beles Multi-purpose Hydro-electric Power Project inaugurated Friday with the presence of ministers, senior federal and regional officials, diplomatic corps, representatives of 35 foreign companies and invited guests.