The Ethiopian Governments Growth and Transformational plan II has a goal to achieve universal electricity by 2025. (Image source: Scott/Pixabay)
In April 2019, Siemens signed an MoU with the Investment Commission of Ethiopia, to address the country’s energy and infrastructure sector challenges, to assist the government, stabilise and expand the existing grid infrastructure and explore island solutions for industrial hubs.
The Ethiopian Governments Growth and Transformational plan II has a goal to achieve universal electricity by 2025. Around 56 per cent of the Ethiopian population does not have access to electricity.
Siemens will install a solar-hybrid plant in Sodo supplying sustainable electricity to the FruitBox farm as well as to the surrounding communities. The G20 investment Summit-Compact with Africa brings together delegates in the public and private sectors to promote German-African business relations under the Compact with Africa.
“The Fruitbox Farm project is a major Siemens lighthouse project aimed at demonstrating the importance of corporates aligning to a national vision that will ultimately benefit the lives of people in different societies,” said Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.
“Government plans supported by business initiatives are essential and play a crucial role in moving economies forward and ensuring economic prosperity for all,” she added.
Apart from providing electricity to the Fruitbox, the project is expected to provide electricity to a nearby school which has approximately 300 students and additionally 150 households indirectly impacting roughly 1,500 people. The project goes beyond rural electrification by creating 200 direct new jobs, even in challenging environments. Through this initiative students from surrounding areas will be trained on how to operate and maintain the microgrid and integrating the agricultural value chain through oil and juice production.
In the mean time, according to Water Power Voith has announced it has signed a comprehensive service and operations consultancy contract for the Gilgel Gibe II hydropower plant in Ethiopia.
The agreement was signed by the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Dr. Seleshi Bekele and Mark Claessen, Managing Director Voith Hydro East Africa in the attendance of Peter Altmaier, the German Federal Minister for Economics and Energy.
The central aspect of the two-year service and operations consultancy contract is the optimization of the energy production of the 420MW project. Voith’s scope of supply comprises the modernization of the maintenance systems, implementation of digital solutions and knowledge transfer through special training programs. All local activities are exclusively provided by Ethiopian Voith experts.
“Together with the plant operator Ethiopian Electric Power we want to utilize the whole potential of the hydropower plant Gilgel Gibe II. We succeed in this by reducing unplanned downtimes and failures to a minimum,” said Mark Claessen. “A stable and sustainable energy supply is the foundation for social and economic development in Ethiopia and many other African countries.”
Gilgel Gibe II is located about 300km south-east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba. Voith supplied four Pelton turbines and generators to the plant as well as the entire mechanical and electrical equipment and also trained the plant operator’s staff. Before Gilgel Gibe II went into operation, only 15%of Ethiopia’s villages were connected to the power grid. Now, half of the rural settlements are supplied with power.
With a hydropower potential of 45,000 megawatts, Ethiopia has one of the largest hydropower resources on the African continent. Since 2011, the country supports the development of renewable energy and wants to become an energy hub for East Africa in the medium term.
Water Power, African Review