Italian Firm to Develop Solar Farms in Ethiopia

By Mhret G/Kristos

ADDIS ABEBA – State-run Ethiopian electric power (EEP) is to set to sign a power generating deal with an Italian firm, Enel Group, at the end of July 2019.

The Rome-based company will invest 100 million dollars to develop solar farms, near Metehara town of Oromia region.

“As soon as we sign the contract, we will start working on the project,” Michele Bologna, head of global renewable energies communication, told The Daily Monitor.

The 100-megawatt energy power generated from the solar energy development project will go to serve communities that are not connected to the national grid.

The company was first awarded the project in 2017 and has been ready for months, said Amb. Luca Maestripieri, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The announcement came at a RES4AFRICA annual conference held in Addis Abeba on Wednesday.

There is no official statement regarding the Metehara project from the government. But officials said they have a good relationship with the Italian firm.

“We have been working with the company and we have good relationships and we will keep it up,” said Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele Minister for water, irrigation, and energy.

Enel Group is an Italian multinational energy company that is active in the sectors of electricity generation and distribution, as well as in the distribution of natural gas.

Italian officials advised the Ethiopian government to keep on involving the private sector as they are planning to do with Enel Group.

The companies are highly interested to involve in the energy sector and employ more engineers, said Ambassador Luca.

Apart from constant power interruptions, Ethiopia loses around 3.3 million USD as a result of a power outage per year.