US$ 500M approved for implementation of ADELE project, Ethiopia

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The Board of Directors of the World Bank Group has approved a US$ 500M International Development Association (IDA) loan for the implementation of the Access to Distributed Electricity and Lighting in Ethiopia (ADELE) project.

The project according to the international financial institution is an important component of the East African country’s National Electrification Program (NEP) that aims to strategically change direction from infrastructure development to the delivery of adequate, reliable, and affordable electricity services with a vision to reach universal electrification by 2025.

ADELE project will focus on access to new and improved electricity services for households, smallholder farmers, commercial and industrial users, and social institutions in urban, peri-urban, rural, and deep-rural areas.

An overview of the ADELE project

The ADELE project will be implemented by Ethiopia’s state-owned power company, Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) while the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) will be in charge of the project’s financial management.

The project features the extension of the national electricity grid for improved reliability of supply in urban areas. This will improve the reliability of supply in Addis Ababa and 10 other regional capitals and selected zonal towns, where deficiencies in availability, quality, and reliability of supply remain a challenge.

The most important feature of the project according to the World Bank is the deployment of innovative solutions such as decentralized renewable energy technologies, more specifically solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids and individual solar system for both household and productive use, deployed through a combined approach of public and private delivery modalities that further enhance affordability and inclusion.\

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Expectations for the project

Upon completion, the project is expected to improve power supply reliability in Addis Ababa, by reducing transformer outages to 2% and improving the frequency and duration of medium voltage line interruptions by 26% and 27%, respectively. In the 10 regional capitals, on the other hand, transformer outages will be reduced by about 3% to 2%.

The frequency and duration of outages will be improved by an average of 45% and 50%, respectively.