ADDIS ABABA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia plans to commission two Chinese-built energy projects in the second half of 2019, an Ethiopian official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Xinhua, Frehiwot Woldehana, Deputy Minister at Ethiopia ministry of water, irrigation, said the 254 MW Genale Dawa III hydro project and an electricity transmission line connecting Ethiopia to Kenya is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2019.
The 254 MW Genale Dawa III hydro project is located in southeastern Ethiopia and is currently being built by China Gezhouba Group at a cost of around 450 million U.S. dollars.
The 1,045 km Ethiopia-Kenya electricity transmission line is divided between 612 km on the Kenyan side and 433 km on the Ethiopian side.
The 1,045 km electricity transmission project which is expected to need 1.2 billion U.S. dollars to be completed is funded by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.
The Ethiopian side of the Ethiopia-Kenya electricity transmission line is currently being constructed by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology. The electricity transmission line will have a transmitting capacity of 2,000 MW once it is completed.
Woldehana said Chinese firms have played an important role in helping Ethiopia achieve its energy sector ambitions, affirming his government's commitment to continue energy sector partnership with Chinese firms.
The energy sector is one of Ethiopia's priorities as the country envisages to become a light manufacturing hub in Africa together with a middle-income economy by 2025.
Ethiopia plans to increase its current 4,300 MW electricity generation capacity to 17,300 MW by 2025, with power generation projects in hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass sectors.