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Ethiopia signs US$1.9b hydro deal with China

ETHIOPIA has signed a US$1.9-billion deal with China to construct two hydroelectric dams with a capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts, its national electricity company said yesterday.

The agreement between Sino Hydro Corp and the Ethiopian Electric Power Authority brings the number of hydropower dams under construction in Ethiopia to seven with an aggregate total capacity of more than 5,000 megawatts.

Of the US$1.9 billion, 85 percent will be financed through preferential buyers' credit and concessionary loans from China with the balance covered by Ethiopia, said Mihret Debebe, EEPA's general manager.

Debebe said the pact that was signed on Tuesday was for the construction of Gibe IV and Halele Werabesa dams, expected to be completed in five years.

Ethiopia is planning to export excess electric power to Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya, officials said yesterday.


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