Reykjavik Geothermal To Build 1000MW Power Plant In Ethiopia
2 October 2013
US-Icelandic geothermal development company, Reykjavik Geothermal (RG), has agreed to build a 1000MW geothermal plant in Ethiopia to help the East African nation harness its energy potential. The power plant which will be built in Ethiopia's Corbetti Caldera region is part of President Barack Obama's $7 billion Power Africa initiative which seeks to double electricity supply on the continent.
The geothermal plant will be Ethiopia's first independent power plant project and it is expected to be one of the world's largest geothermal power plant. The deal will also make Reykjavik Geothermal Ethiopia's first independent power producer, while the Corbetti project will be the largest single geothermal plant ever built in Africa, RG Chairman, Michael Phillip said.
Reykjavik Geothermal, a company that has helped build power plants in about 30 countries globally expects to invest $4 billion over an 8-10 years period. It has been working with Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and various government ministries for the past two years to finanlise the purchase agreement.
The geothermal development company will build and operate up to 1000Megawatts of geothermal in two 500MW phases. While the first 10MW of power will be online in 2015 with an additional 100MW in 2016; the full 500MW will be operational in 2018.
Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of EEPCO, H.E Michael Debretsion said the deal is a significant st ep in helping realising Ethiopia's strategic vision of being a regional leader in power generation and export in East Africa.
While noting that: "Africa needs to transform and energy is at the center of that transformation," Ethiopia Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn said: "My vision is that over the next 30 years, we will need to harness as much as 80,000MW of hydro geothermal, wind and solar power, not just for Ethiopia, but for our neighbouring countries as well.
"This cannot be done by public investment alone; we will need to partner with private sectors...from that perspective, this 1000MW with RG is not that large- but it's a great start," Desalegn added.
The PM conluded by stating that what "Africa needs now is not just aid but trade and Investment."