JUBA – Ethiopia has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Sudan to export hydro and other cheaper energy to Juba.
According to the Ethiopian Electric Power, the power utility, Ethiopia has agreed to export an initial 100 Megawatts of electricity to South Sudan over the next three years.
The agreement was signed last week as a South Sudanese delegation, led by Energy and Dam Minister, Peter Marcello, paid a working visit to Ethiopia to finalize the memorandum of understanding the two countries had agreed on power purchase previously.
Ethiopian Electric Power Corporate Planning Executive Officer Andualem Siaa told state media that Ethiopia will export 100 megawatts of electricity to South Sudan in the first phase of the three-year period and will supply 400 megawatts of power then after.
Andualem said Ethiopia is aggressively working to supply electric power to its neighbours as part of regional integration with its neighbours.
During the signing ceremony, the South Sudan minister said the agreement would enable his country expedite the erection of transmission infrastructure to link the power grids of the two countries.
While noting electric power is the backbone of South Sudan’s economy, Peter Marcelo, said the electricity will have a significant contribution to the country’s development projects and economic growth in general.
Ethiopia, which plans to become the regional clean energy exporter, has an agreement to sell electricity to Kenya and Tanzania. It also plans to supply electricity to Rwanda, Somaliland and Burundi. It is eyeing the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (Gerd) and smaller dams as critical sources of hydro-power to local demand of 110 million people as well as neighbouring countries.
Local power distribution lags behind, with nearly 60 percent of the population without access.
Currently, Ethiopia exports 254 megawatts of electricity to neighbouring Sudan and Djibouti. In the last nine months, it earned $37 million in power exports to the two countries, according to an annual report seen by The EastAfrican.
The controversial Gerd project is Africa’s largest hydroelectric project, with a capacity to generate up to 5,000 MW and started generating electricity for the first time last February.