ACWA Power to drive solar energy development in Ethiopia

Signs a 20-year PPA agreement for 250 MWac PV projects

  • The first of a kind in the Ethiopian utilities landscape 
  • The PV projects are estimated to power 750,000 homes in Ethiopia and offset 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year 

Ethiopia, Addis Ababa: ACWA Power, a leading international developer and operator of power generation and water desalination projects, signed two long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) with Ethiopia’s state-owned electricity producer Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for two 125 MWac solar photovoltaic (PV) projects at USD 2.526 cents/kWh over 20 years. Implementation Agreements were also signed with the Government of Ethiopia, represented by the Ministry of Finance.  The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Sami bin Jameel Abdullah, Saudi Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Abraham Belay, Chief Executive Officer of EEP, , Director of Ethiopia’s Public-Private Partnerships Directorate General (PPP-DG) of the Ministry of Finance, and Paddy Padmanathan, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power.

ACWA Power won the bid for the two PV plants of 125 MWac each during the first round of Ethiopia’s solar programme organised by the PPP-DG under the new PPP law, and signed a Letter of Intent with the Ministry of Finance and EEP in October 2019. 

H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, expressed his satisfaction with the partnership saying: “Ethiopia has highly ambitious growth plans that require a reliable, secure and affordable supply of energy. Our focus is to expand our renewables capacity and we are confident that ACWA Power’s leadership and international expertise in this sector will benefit us significantly. We are proud to be working with ACWA Power on the lowest-tariff project in Africa. We believe this partnership will aid us tremendously in creating long term sustainable value for our nation and communities”.

, Director of Ethiopia’s Public-Private Partnerships Directorate General (PPP-DG) of the Ministry of Finance, also shared his remarks, saying: “The two projects are key to strengthening our renewable energy delivery. Though the first under the public-private partnership framework, we believe that they will set the stage for future collaborations in the Ethiopian energy sector. With the PPAs in place we are confident of achieving the development and implementation of these two solar projects in a timely manner and securing sustainable power to meet our growing demands.”

With a combined capacity of 250 MWac, the PV projects are estimated to power 750,000 homes in Ethiopia and offset 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The new plants will be located in Dicheto, in the Afar region, and in Gad, in the Somali region of the country.

Commenting on the occasion, Paddy Padmanathan, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power, said: “The signing of the PPAs is of great importance and signifies the confidence that the Ethiopian government has in our ability to support their energy building ambitions. We are pleased to have been selected to deliver the first projects to be tendered under the new public-private partnership framework in Ethiopia. As a leader in the renewable energy sector, we are confident that our expertise will help support the government in achieving its goal of increasing the electricity generation capacity from the current 4,300 MW to 17,300 MW by 2020”.

“The 250MWac projects are the first of a kind in the Ethiopian utilities landscape and will be a support the diversification of the energy mix within the country.” Padmanathan added. 

“This partnership is a strong reflection of the Ethiopian government’s trust in ACWA Power’s expertise and business model. Our strategy to provide low tariffs not only cements ACWA Power as the partner of choice, but is a reinforcement of our ability to help sustain the nation’s positive economic growth and improve living standards by providing safe and affordable access to electricity”, Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power, concluded.

ACWA Power was selected as the winning bid out of 12 pre-qualified bidders. While these solar projects will be ACWA Power’s first venture in Ethiopia, the company already operates in Africa with solar and wind assets in Morocco, South Africa and Egypt, fuelling the power needs of respective communities.


About ACWA Power:

ACWA Power is a developer, investor and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants currently with presence in 12 countries including in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions. ACWA Power employs over 3,500 people with about 60% local employment. ACWA Power’s portfolio, with an investment value in excess of USD 46 billion, can generate 31.3 GW of power and produce 5.3 million m3 /day of desalinated water to be mostly delivered on a bulk basis to state utilities and industrial majors on long term off-take contracts under Public-Private-Partnership, Concession and Utility Services Outsourcing models. ACWA Power, registered and head-quartered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is owned by eight Saudi conglomerates, Sanabil Direct Investment Company (owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia), the Saudi Public Pensions Agency and the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group). ACWA Power pursues a mission to reliably deliver electricity and desalinated water at a low cost, thereby contributing to the social and economic development of the communities and countries it invests in an serves. ACWA Power strives to achieve success by adhering to the values of Safety, People and Performance in operating its business. For more info, please visit 

Media contact details:
Mohamed Yousef Ibrahim
Manager – Marketing & Public Relations
Tags: #ACWAPower #Addis Ababa #energy #solar #Ethiopia

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