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Ethiopia to Get Chinese Funds for $1 Billion Hydropower Line

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April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Ethiopia will receive funds from China for a transmission line valued at $1 billion that will bring electricity from a hydropower plant to the capital, Addis Ababa according to a government official.

The 619-kilometer (385-mile) link from the 6,000-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River will be constructed over the next three years by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology, Deputy Prime Minister of Economy and Finance Debretsion Gebremichael told reporters in Addis Ababa today.

“The construction of this big transmission line will help benefit our economy and to ensure our industrial development,” he said. Funding for the two 500-kilovolt cables will come primarily from the Export-Import Bank of China, Debretsion said.

Ethiopia, which according to the World Bank has the second-highest hydropower potential in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo, hopes to finish the self-funded $5-billion Nile dam in 2018. The project will be the continent’s biggest power plant.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net