Construction is due to start imminently and scheduled to last 18 months. Goldwind is expected to supply 102 of its 1.5MW turbines. The Export-Import Bank of China will provide a loan covering 85% of the $345 million (EUR 266 million) project cost, with the Ethiopian government making up the balance.
HydroChina and CGCOC recently completed a 51MW plant at Nazret, also with Goldwind turbines. At the same time, French turbine manufacturer Vergnet is building a 120MW project at Ashegoda using Vergnet and Alstom turbines.
Another five projects are under development in the country: Galema I (250MW), Aysha (300MW), Debre Birhan (100MW), Assela (100MW) and Messobo-Harena (42MW). According to a study by HydroChina, Ethiopia's potential wind resource exceeds 1,300GW.
China is also assisting Ethiopia in developing this potential. China Exim Bank provided 85% of the $117 million Nazret project cost in the form of a loan, with the remainder coming from the Ethiopian government.
Further ahead, HCIE is also considering producing towers and blades locally. In all, Ethiopia is targeting an installed capacity of 800MW by 2015.