France offers Ethiopia $590 million for power and water projects (http://af.reuters.com du 23/06/2011)

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – France has signed a $590 million agreement with Ethiopia to boost water and energy projects, as well as for the construction of electricity transmission lines with Kenya, its embassy in Addis Ababa said.

The loan and grant deal will enable the French Development Agency (ADF) to develop water and sanitation schemes and support the management of geothermal and windmill projects, it said in a statement.

« In the same area, an important support is provided for the construction of Ethio-Kenyan electricity interconnection, » the embassy said.

Ethiopia signed a 220 million euro deal with French wind turbine manufacturer Vergnet in 2008 for the construction of a 120 MW wind farm in the northern Tigray region as part of efforts to diversify its energy sources.

Addis Ababa has also started work on building a 5,250 MW dam along its share of the Nile river at the cost of $4.78 billion. The project will be the continent’s largest and is expected to be completed in five to 10 years time.

The Horn of Africa nation aims to produce 15,000 MW of power within 10 years as part of a plan to spend $12 billion over 25 years to overcome chronic power shortages and export to other energy-starved African countries.

The deal with France was signed on Wednesday by Ethiopia’s Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed and French ambassador Jean-Christophe Belliard, the statement said.

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