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Ethiopia to cut Sudan’s power supply until end of July

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The suspension of electric power supply by Ethiopia to neighbouring Sudan will continue until the end of July 2019, a senior official has said.

The country’s hydro-electric power dams have not yet held enough water and the suspension of electricity power supply to the Sudan will remain in place for the following weeks, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Irrigation, Dr Engineer Seleshi Bekele said during a briefing on Tuesday, 9 July 2019.

Last month, the government of Ethiopia introduced power rationing at the national level and suspension of power supply to neighbouring Sudan and reduction of power to eastern neighbouring Djibouti, due to lack of sufficient water in its hydro-electric dams that resulted in 460 MW power deficit.

Ethiopia’s State-owned electricity producer, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), earned 28.4 million dollars from exporting electricity to Sudan and Djibouti in 2018.

The figures covering between June and October 2018 showed that the country earned 10.9 million dollars from Sudan and 17.5 million dollars from Djibouti.

This time around, the ministry lifted power rationing for domestic and improved power supply to industrial customers after the water levels in hydro-power dams increased although they are not up to the volume required for sale to Ethiopia’s neighbours.

Dr Engineer Sileshi Bekele said his ministry also revised the supply of power for local industrial establishments which will get 50 percent of their power demand for the coming 15 days during daytime and 100 percent from 23:00 to 05:00 local time.

He said water levels at major dams, including at Melka Wakena, Gibe 3 are increasing.

He hopes the power shortage will be solved shortly after Genale Dawa 3 dam becomes operational next month and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam begins its first phase of power generation next year.

The Ethiopian government hopes to increase the electricity generation capacity of the country from the current 4 300 MW to 17 300 MW by 2020, utilizing hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass energy sources.


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