25 October 2013, Addis Ababa – The government of Ethiopia concluded a contractual agreement with Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic energy company, to develop a geothermal farm with a production capacity of 1,000MW. The USD four billion agreement will generate electric energy for both domestic consumption and neighboring export markets.
CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) said that geothermal energy is valued because it is one of the most renewable energy sources and said “trade with neighboring countries will increase significantly” highlighting the importance of the project.
The geothermal farm, which is the first of its kind in Ethiopia and the largest in Africa, will be completed in two phases each having the generating capacity of 500MW. The first phase is expected to be completed and get operational by 2018, and the second phase by 2021.
CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal said on the occasion said that the geothermal farm is a landmark energy project that will bring Ethiopia “to the forefront of geothermal development”. The project is part of the Power Africa Initiative which focuses on the rapid development of the Rift Valley’s geothermal potential.
The Initiative, revealed recently by the US President, aims to expand sub-Saharan Africa’s energy coverage by more than 10,000MW of cleaner energy. The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has agreed to buy the electric energy generated by the project for the at least a quarter of a century after the completion of the project.
*Government of Ethiopia press statement