U.S. Supports Geothermal Power in Ethiopia

 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 27, 2018:- The United States continues to invest in Ethiopia’s capacity to develop its energy sector.  Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to TM Geothermal Operations Private Limited Company (TMGO)[1], an Ethiopian company, to coordinate a feasibility study supporting development of the first 50 megawatts of a planned 520-megawatt Tulu Moye Geothermal project in the Main Ethiopian Rift.

The study will be conducted by U.S. firm, Delphos International, Ltd., which has expertise in supporting power sector development and financing from its work across 35 countries.

“The United States is pleased to support this project, which will foster energy diversification and improve access to affordable and reliable electricity in Ethiopia,” said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA’s Director of Congressional and Public Affairs. “This study will also create opportunities for U.S. companies in Ethiopia’s growing geothermal sector.”

In December 2017, Ethiopian Electric Power signed implementation agreements and power purchase agreements allowing the private sector to develop the Corbetti and Tulu Moye geothermal projects. These historic agreements will support 1,000 megawatts of geothermal power generation and over $4 billion of private investment in Ethiopia.

Chief Executive Officer of TMGO, Darrell Boyd, added, “By enabling TMGO to progress technical, environmental, legal, and financial workstreams for the Tulu Moye geothermal project, USTDA’s study is a key component to its success.”

Managing Director of Delphos International, Slav Gatchev, also added, “Delphos and its leading U.S. subcontractors look forward to delivering a bankable package to the grantee so that this landmark project may move forward expeditiously.”

Chargé d’Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa Troy Fitrell said, “The United States has a long history of working to support Ethiopia’s economic development.  And as Ethiopia strives to develop light-manufacturing and other industries, few things will be as important to the country’s success as having sufficient, reliable, and affordable power.”  He added, “This project brings together a U.S. firm and an Ethiopian company – an example of how private-sector collaboration between our countries can achieve shared goals for mutual benefits.”

This project supports the goals of the U.S Government’s Doing Business in Africa and Power Africa initiatives, which focus on fostering space for economic growth and investment opportunity in Africa.

Power Africa is assisting Ethiopian Electric Power with developing plans for generation, competitive tendering for IPP projects, and streamlined and transparent procurement process. In June, U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor, and Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity signed a new memorandum of understanding that renewed the U.S. commitment to continue support for development of Ethiopia’s energy sector under Power Africa through the year 2023.

Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative with the goal of doubling electricity access throughout sub-Saharan Africa, has assisted the Ethiopian Government in advancing these inaugural Independent Power Producer projects.  As an implementing agency of Power Africa, USTDA maintains a robust energy portfolio supporting Power Africa goals and supports Ethiopia’s goals to increase electricity access through private sector-led projects.

[1] TMGO is owned by Meridiam, a leading global infrastructure fund manager, and Reykjavik Geothermal, a specialized developer with long-standing presence in Ethiopia.