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The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU)

Upgrade of the urban distribution networks in major towns and villages across five regional states in Ethiopia

In 2011, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, through the EEU, initiated an upgrade programme for the existing distribution networks (33 kV, 15 kV and 380/220 V) of eight major regional towns (urban distribution) and to provide electrification to approximately 100 rural towns and villages in five regional states. The project aimed to enhance power supply reliability and enable network extensions to supply new customers by means of the Energy Access Project.

Edif ERA was engaged by EEU to provide contract supervision services for two independent pieces of work consisting of (a) urban distribution upgrading component and (b) rural electricity access project component.

Challange

The main challenge for the energy sector in Ethiopia is to increase access to sustainable energy for basic services and for economic growth. Ethiopia's economy is growing quickly, albeit from a low base and, consequently, consumption of energy is growing rapidly at 12% per annum. Demand is estimated at twice this figure. The challenge for this project is to provide effective, cost-efficient schemes which provide reliable transmission and distribution of electriciyt to urban and rural areas while providing technology transfer to Ethiopian engineers.

Approach

A project of this magnitude requires a company with a broad range of services and the insight to see the effects each stage of the development will have on the project goals. Our work began with system planning and is concluding with commissioning and testing.

Conclusion

As a World Bank funded project, the management and delivery of this project are heavily scrutinised by independent authorities. The work carried out by Edif ERA has been commended by the World Bank as first-class. Edif ERA is still working on this important project with the World Bank and the EEU, and it has initiated similar contracts elsewhere in West Africa.

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The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) Case Study

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