Ethiopia Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has signed 14 contracts worth about $330m with foreign firms to improve Ethiopia’s power transmission, said EEPCO’s CEO Miheret Debebe.

The contracts with companies from ten countries provide for constructing 20 high-voltage sub-stations, upgrading existing sub-stations, and installing about 1100 km of both underground and aerial transmission lines linking Ethiopia with neighbouring countries.

Indian companies took the biggest share of the contracts, closing three deals worth more than $50m, according to 2Merkato.

Companies that entered into agreements with EEPCo include Energoinvest DD, Alstom Grid, ABB and Norinco International, said the business portal.

The projects are expected to be completed within 12 to 24 months.

Financing for the projects includes more than $220m from the African Development Bank and more than $20m from Chinese banks, with the balance to be provided by the Ethiopian government.

EEPCo has also announced that a feasibility study to construct a second hydropower project on the upper Nile River is nearly complete, with the project forming a central part of Ethiopia’s plans to become a regional power hub in East Africa.

The projects would enable Ethiopia to increase its capacity from its current level of 2000 MW to nearly 10 000 MW by 2016, said Debebe.

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