ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Monday commenced a Chinese funded 270 million U.S. dollars water supply project.
The project is intended to meet the water needs of the estimated 400,000 residents of Mekelle city, capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray regional state.
China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. (CGGC) will construct the water supply project, which is expected to be completed in three years.
The Mekelle city water supply project commencement program was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian.
Speaking at the event, Tan said the project is designed to supply 124,300 cubic meters of clean water daily once it is completed.
"On 10 May 2018, I had the honor to sign the framework agreement on financing the project with Ethiopia State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe. The ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, Li Zhanshu," said Tan.
"The Chinese government has agreed to provide interest free loan of 80 million U.S. dollars and preferential loan of 150 million U.S. dollars for the project, accounting for 85 percent of the total financing required," said the ambassador.
Tan also said the water supply project will meet the needs of the numerous manufacturing industries located in and around Mekelle city.
"The project will supply water for the needs of industry, agriculture and animal husbandry development, thus contributing to Ethiopia's development," he said. "The project will provide water for the use of Mekelle Industrial Park, Mesfin Industrial Engineering, Messebo Cement Factory, and Velocity Apparels Company."
Located 783 km north of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Mekelle has been rapidly growing in the last several years, with regional authorities struggling to meet the water needs of the city's growing population and its industries.
In recent years, Ethiopia has built with the help of Chinese financial aid, a 756 km electrified rail connecting the landlocked country with ports in neighboring Djibouti, a new headquarter for the continental body African Union (AU) and several large-scale energy projects.