The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has again announced a power rationing program and ordered industries to cut their production. Miheret Debebe, CEO of EEPCo, explained that latest power rationing, unlike the previous, is not as a result of power shortage but due to the restricted load capacity of transmission lines and delayed expansion work of new transmission lines.
According to him the power demand has had a steady growth of 24 percent a year, and although the corporation has the capacity to supply ample electric power for the country, “the current transmission line’s electric load capacity" has contributed to the problem of "power interruption, mainly during peak hours”. Mr. Debebe said that the rehabilitation of the new transmission line is being undertaken. The new electricity transmission system improvement project is being supported by the World Bank.
The CEO also argues that power supply has been affected in part due to technical problems. EEPCo is currently producing only about 1300 megawatt of power from dams operating in the country and is short of the 700 MW needed to reach its total capacity of 2000MW. The recently inaugurated Gilgel Gibe II Hydro Power Plant with a capacity of 420 megawatt has been nonoperational following its collapse shortly after its inauguration. One of the effective power stations, Gilgel Gibe I is only producing half of its total 180 megawatt capacity, due to a transformer collapse. Tekeze Hydro Power Plant, another new power station with a 300 megawatt capacity and is generating only about 70 megawatt.