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Sudan may buy 1 GW of electricity to Ethiopia

12 Aug 2021

Sudan is considering buying 1,000 MW of electricity from Ethiopia and building a US$550m power interconnection to raise electricity imports. Sudan, which is facing a strong electricity deficit, has been for long at loggerheads with Ethiopia over the development of the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) built by Ethiopia on the Nile River.

Ethiopia started to build the giant hydropower project on the Nile River in May 2011 (initially designed as a 5,250 MW project but later upgraded to 6,450 MW), arousing a fierce opposition from neighbouring Egypt and Sudan, which considered that it violates a colonial-era agreement giving them rights to 90% of the Nile's water; on the contrary, Ethiopia claims to be the source of about 85% of the total water in the Nile. The US$4.5bn project has undergone several delays and the first two turbines (750 MW) are expected to start generating power in 2021-2022.

Ethiopia also plans to supply power to Kenya (a new interconnection line to Kenya is nearing completion), South Sudan, Tanzania (and possibly to South Africa), and Somaliland.

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