ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian government through its finance ministry has started plans to build a 250 MW Industrial Scale Solar Park.

The project to be completed in two locations will be built at a private investment cost of US$ 150 million.

One of the projects will located in an area known as Gad, in Somali Regional State, while the other one will be located in Dicheto in Afar Regional State.

The industrial park is expected to provide safe, clean and reliable green energy to the country’s growing industrial sector.

The project scope involve the construction of two solar power parks each with a capacity of producing 125MW of power. The power will then be sold to the country’s power generation and supplying company, Ethiopian Electric Power.

Ethiopia’s finance ministry has already shortlisted companies whose bids its will consider for the implementation of the project that will be a first of its kind in the country.

The winner of the tender will be expected to bring its own financing to build solar power plants in two locations.

ACWA, a Saudi Arabian energy company is considered to be ahead of the competition in a bid to win a deal with the Ethiopian government to build an industrial scale solar park.

The company placed its financial offer of 0.025 dollars a kilowatt-hour early this month through the Independent Power Purchase agreement framework.

Four other international power companies bidding against ACOA were excluded due to non-compliance and have since been issued letters of notice by the Public-Private Partnership Directorate, under the Ministry of Finance.

The two solar power projects are among six power projects approved by the Ethiopian government in January this year and are expected to cost US$798 million.

They were initiated by the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) “Scaling Solar” programme and have a combined capacity of 750MW of power if fully implemented.

IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group providing loans to companies to build the two solar photovoltaic projects, aka solar parks.