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Ethiopia power cut to Sudan drags on

The suspension of electric power supply by Ethiopia to neighboring Sudan will continue until end of July 2019, a senior official has said.The country’s hydro electric power dams have not yet held enough water and the suspension of electricity power supply to the Sudan will remain in place for the following weeks, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation, Dr Engineer Seleshi Bekele said during a briefing on Tuesday.

Last month, the government of Ethiopia introduced power rationing at the national level and suspension of power supply to neighboring Sudan and reduction power to eastern neighboring Djibouti due to lack of sufficient water in its hydro electric dams that resulted in 460 MW power deficit.

Ethiopia’s State-owned electricity producer, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) last year earned $28.4 million from exporting of electricity to Sudan and Djibouti

The figures covering between June and October 2018 showed that the country earned $10.9 million from Sudan and $17.5 million from Djibouti.

This time around, the ministry lifted power rationing for domestic and and improves power supply to industrial customers after the water levels in hydro power dams increased although they are not up to the volume required for sale to Ethiopia’s neighbours.

Dr Eingineer Sileshi Bekele said his ministry also revised the supply of power for local industrial establshments which will get 50 percent of their power demand for the coming 15 days during daytime and 100 percent from 11pm-5am local time.

He said water levels at major dams including at Melka Wakena, Gibe 3 are increasing. 

He hopes the power shortage will be solved shortly after Genale Dawa 3 dam becomes operational next month and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam begins first phase power generation next year.

The Ethiopian government hopes to increase the electricity generation capacity of the country from the current 4,300 MW to 17,300 MW by 2020, utilizing hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass energy sources.

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