Chinese study of Ethiopia shows 1300GW potential

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia's wind resource amounts to over 1,300GW according to an assessment study recently completed by HydroChina International Engineering Company (HCIE) financed by the Chinese government.

China is also assisting Ethiopia in developing this potential. HCIE in a joint-venture with Chinese construction group CGCOC recently completed a 51MW plant near Nazareth (Adama), equipped with 34 Goldwind 1.5MW turbines.

China Exim Bank provided 85% of the $117 million project cost in the form of a loan, with the remainder coming from the Ethiopian government.

HCIE and CGCOC also expect to start building another 51MW at Nazareth by the end of the year, again with Goldwind turbines and Chinese funding. The facility could eventually be expanded to 153MW. Further ahead, HCIE is developing a 51MW project at Messebo-Harena. It is also considering producing towers and blades locally.

Not that China is the only country involved. French turbine manufacturer Vergnet is building a 120MW project at Ashegoda using Vergnet and Alstom turbines.

In all, Ethiopia is tabling an installed capacity of 800MW by 2015.

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