By Hailu T.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is expected to assure the public that the power shortage will be over soon when he presents a nine-month performance report of his government for the current fiscal year to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Tuesday.
Meles’s report is expected to address the economy, the current power shortage and other issues of national interest.
Sources told The Reporter that Meles’s report will talk about the challenges faced in repairing Gilgel Gibe II hydroelectric plant, which produces 420mw, that had part of its tunnel collapse soon after Meles himself pressed the button to start the plant at its inaugurations. He is expected to announce that barring any unforeseen obstacles during repair, the plant will be back online at the end of July or beginning of August.
His report is also expected to assure the public that the power shortage that has been induced b the collapse of Gibe II will be alleviated and that the Tana Beles hydroelectric plant, which has an installed capacity of 460MW, will come online in three weeks time.
Tana Beles when it comes online will meet current power demands and Gibe II any increase in demand over the next year.
Aside from the power shortage, Meles is to report that the country will achieve a double digit economic growth of 10.1 percent this year. This figure will bring the average growth of the economy in the past year to be more than 10 percent. He is also expected to report that the average inflation rate, including last month’s, has decreased to 3.9 percent.
He is also expected to report that the country’s export grew by 21 percent in the past eight months.