Assela Wind Farm project in Ethiopia enters construction phase

THE Assela Wind Farm project, located about 150km south of Addis Ababa, near Iteya town in Oromia State, has now entered the construction phase following the approval the loan agreement signed by the Ministry of Finance and Danske Bank for financing for the 100 megawatts project.

The $136.5 million loan, to be repaid in 20 years, including a five-year grace period, was unanimously approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives. The Danske Bank loan is underwritten by the Danish government through its ministry of foreign affairs’ Danida Sustainable Infrastructure Finance (DSIF).

The project overview

The project involves the installation of 29 turbines with each turbine having the capacity to produce 3.45MW, the construction of access roads, and a substation as well as the installation of transformers and generators.  Upon completion, the facility is expected to generate about 330,000KWh annually and supply sustainable power to more than three million people.

An agreement signed between the power parastatal Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy stipulates that the Danish subsidiary of Siemens Gamesa will have control of 60 percent of the development of the project, while Siemens Gamesa-Spain (the parent company) will have the remaining 40% control.

The two subsidiaries of the company are also expected to operate and maintain the Assela wind farm over a 5-year period.

Electricity access in Ethiopia

Electricity access in Ethiopia is low, with nearly 60 million – more than half of the population – without access to electricity.

Under the National Electrification Plan, the political objective is to provide access to electricity for the entire population, 65 percent from the grid, and 35 percent from solar off-grid technologies.

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