MPs’ Approval Loan from Denmark Gives Assela Wind Farm Boost

ADDIS ABABA – Assela Wind Farm One will help Ethiopia harness its enormous wind potential, said Denmark’s top envoy in Addis Ababa said, after parliament approved the 117.3 million euros loan agreement that will finance the project.

On Monday, parliamentarians unanimously endorsed the concessional loan deal, signed between Ethiopia’s ministry of finance and officials of Denmark’s biggest bank Danske Bank group in mid-June.

“We are very pleased to see this project develop, and that we are now moving towards the construction phase,” said Karin Poulsen, Danish Ambassador to Ethiopia.

The Assela Wind Farm will be located about 150Km south of the capital, near Iteya town in Oromia Regional State, and will be constructed by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

The power project will have a capacity of generating 100MW from 29 wind turbines, and is expected to generate 330,000KWh annually and supply sustainable power to over three million people.

“Access to sustainable and reliable energy is crucial to Ethiopia’s continued development,” she said. “Denmark is very happy to be able to support Ethiopia’s ambitions to develop a climate-resilient green economy.”

The cost of the project is estimated to be 146 million euros.

Of this, €117.3 million of the loan will be covered by the Danske Bank. The loan will be repaid within 20 years, which includes a five-year grace period.

The remaining €28.7mln will be covered by the government of Denmark.

Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MOWIE), said Wind Farm will help Ethiopia “diversify its renewable energy mix”.

“I am grateful to the Danish government’s generosity to provide grant and concessional finance,” he said. “As a capacity development, Ethiopia will also learn and benefit immensely from Danish wind energy companies in terms of generation and operation of wind energy.”

The project enables the introduction of Danish wind power technology to Ethiopia and promotes the sustainable use of renewable resources, according to the Ministry of Finance.

[Photo File/Kumerra Gemechu]