Ethiopian officials have confirmed on Wednesday that they are currently looking into a potential electricity deal with Yemen, where Addis Ababa would help Sana’a fill its power deficit by export its surplus of electricity. It is important to note that the project has yet to be proven not only feasible but commercially and financially viable, before negotiations in between both countries could even be considered.
Misikir Negash, head of public relations for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, was quoted by Anadolu news agency as saying on the matter, "The idea is not yet supported by study. The plan requires conducting a lot of studies. He added, "A study on technical matters will soon be launched.”
Yemeni Electricity official Farouk AbdulHamid said the deal has a strong chance of passing. Should studies prove encouraging, engineers explained that an electric cable could be made to join up Yemen via the Red Sea to relay power and thus provide a steady source and clean source of power. Yemen which has vowed since 2012 to put an end to crippling power blackouts, has already said to be in favour of such a project as it will offer the country a practical solution to its ever-increasing energy needs and open new avenues with Ethiopia in terms of partnership and collaborations.
Officials in Ethiopia noted that following the visit last month of a delegation from Yemen, the government was keen to promote such a project and thus expand its power distribution network. Ethiopia already exports electricity to Sudan (100 megawatts of electric power), Kenya (400 megawatts) and Djibouti (35 megawatts). From the Yemeni side, Ministry of Electricity officials told Yemen Post that businessman Shaher Abdulhak Saleh"palyed a role in coordinating the meetings between the concerned parties of both governments. Shaher Abdulhaq is said to own billions of dollars worth of investments in Ethiopia.