ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti have expressed the need to augment electricity connectivity to spur socio-economic ties among the two neighboring countries.
This came as the Ethiopia-Djibouti 230-Kilo Volts (kV) second circuit high power transmission line and distribution station construction project officially started, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported Friday.
Ashebir Balcha, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), said during the launching event that the project will have socio-economic significance to the two connected countries.
Noting that the project will generate more foreign currency for Ethiopia, Balcha said the new electric transmission line will "play a massive role" for Djibouti in stimulating its industry and extending access to electricity by purchasing power at a reasonable price.
The project will further expedite regional energy connectivity and strengthen the electricity and transport linkage of the two countries, FBC quoted Balcha as saying.
Deputy Director General of Djibouti Electricity Institute, Abubakar Hassan, on his part emphasized that the second power transmission line construction project is of paramount importance to Djibouti.
Hassan said the project would enable the Red Sea nation to address the lack of energy supply through the provision of uninterrupted power supply to the society at a reasonable price.
He stated that the project will include expansion construction at Kombolcha II and Semera substations, and a 230-kV new substation will be constructed in Mille town, in the Afar region of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is working to boost electric power export from the already functional and under-construction power plants to its neighboring African countries.
In July, the Ethiopian government said it earned some 5 billion Ethiopian birrs (about 95 million U.S. dollars) from energy exports to neighboring countries during the previous Ethiopian 2021/22 fiscal year that ended on July 7.
The earnings, a record high, were achieved through electric energy exports to Djibouti and Sudan, according to figures from the EEP.
According to data given by the EEP, the revenue was up 5 million U.S. dollars when compared with the previous fiscal year.
Ethiopia's energy exports are part of a broader plan to economically integrate the East African region through electricity.
The energy sector is one of the country's priorities as it envisages becoming a light manufacturing hub in Africa and a middle-income economy within the coming few years. Ethiopia has identified hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, and biomass for energy generation projects. ■