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Corbetti project signs 500 MW PPA with Ethiopian state utility

PPA Signing Ceremony, July 27, 2015 (source: ENA.gov.et)
Alexander Richter 27 Jul 2015

Corbetti Geothermal Company has signed a PPA for 500 MW with Ethiopian Electric Power in conjunction with U.S. President Obama's visit to Ethiopia.

In conjunction with the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Ethiopia, a joint press statement was published by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and President Obama.

In it President Obama mentioned the U.S. Power Africa initiative, through “we’re working to unlock Ethiopia’s potential for geothermal energy with the nation’s first private sector energy agreement. And this will help the government meet its ambitious goal of significantly increasing access to electricity across Ethiopia and help open the market to developing Ethiopia’s other vast renewable energy sources.”

Later today, the Ethiopian Electric Power and the Corbetti Geothermal Company signed a Power Purchase Agreement for the first 500 MW of this project, which was announced as a possible 1,000 MW project.

The planned 1,000 MW Corbetti geothermal project with an estimated investment volume of $4 billion is planned to be built in two stages within 8 to 10 years. Upon completion, it would be Africa’s largest geothermal facility and likely the world largest.

During the signing ceremony today, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Electric Power, Azeb Asnake said Ethiopia is willing and desires to interconnect each power system and share the electric power by creating market.

To satisfy the energy demand of the country, Ethiopian Electric Power has designed and embarked on generating renewable energy in line with its 25-year power sector master plan, the CEO added.

The geothermal energy generation that would be carried out by Corbetti Geothermal Company designed as African Initiative power is meant to meet this, according to Azeb.

The Corbetti project was initially driven by Reykjavik Geothermal, but Investment Firm Berkley Energy and its African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) seems now to be in the driving seat.

Non-Executive Investment Committee Member-AREF of Berkley Energy, Edward Njoroge said on his part Ethiopia is taking major steps in exploiting its natural resources. Mr. Njoroge is actually the former CEO of Kenya’s KenGen.

“Renewable energy is clean and we are really very happy to be part of that and to make sure that Ethiopia becomes in the forefront of the renaissance that we are having in Africa of new renewable energy” he pointed out.

Ethiopia is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources, including 45,000 MWs in renewable, in addition to hydropower potential more than 10,000 MWs from untapped geothermal resources.

By 2037, Ethiopia aspires to have a total instated generation capacity of 37,000 MWs and become the major power exporter.

Earlier announcements of PPA negotiations were announced as early as 2012, so things have taken a long long time.

Source: The White HouseENA.gov.et