Expected to be received warmly by the Ethiopian government, two British firms offered to provide financing for building and operating the USD 860 million Genale Dawa VI (GD-6) hydro-electric plant but the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) remains undecided on privatizing the hitherto state-run sector.
In February this year, a delegation of the firms (Globeleq and Contingency Technology Group) along with their partners from Britain met with senior government officials and expressed interest to build the hydro-electric plant.
Despite the government’s interest in their offer, they were told that they had to wait for a while as the GD-6 project was floated for public tender.
However, the EEP has not yet disclosed the tender result or winner though the tender period has expired a month ago.
In the latest development, The Reporter has learnt that a team of government officials led by Arkebe Equbay (PhD) visited the headquarters of the two British companies (Globeleq and Contingent) as well as their financiers (Cambridge Group) in London.
Arkebe and other officials were impressed by the companies’ overall capacity as well as their readiness to engage in the power sector in Ethiopia, sources told The Reporter.
The Ethiopian delegation was in London to attend a business forum that was organized in partnership with the World Bank, IMF as well as the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Even though the two companies are expressing their strong desire to participate in power generation and distribution here, and are eagerly awaiting results of the bidding process, they are also thinking in terms of turning their face either to Kenya or Tanzania, where they have already identified similar projects if they are denied the greenlight here. Meanwhile, it is not clear why EEP took this long to make decisions. [Reporter]