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BusinessEthiopia gives first license for hydrogen power generation

Ethiopia gives first license for hydrogen power generation

It can generate electricity four times higher than GERD

 Ethiopia issues the first ever license for a hydrogen power generation to an Australian company, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), last week, in a signing ceremony held between company representatives and government officials. 

The company has been in talks with the government since September 2020 for its planned project to build a green technology, which materialized after a year and half of negotiations. 

The launch of the company’s service operation was attended by Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance. Ahmed explained that the decision to give the first license to the company is part of the country’s focus to build a greener energy from renewable sources. 

“FFI’s project will be helpful especially for the production of cement and fertilizers,” Ahmed said, expressing the government’s commitment to support the operation as needed. 

Brook Taye (PhD), senior advisor at the Ministry of Finance also disclosed that the company’s capacity to produce power can reach 25 GW, four times higher than Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He stressed that the power from hydrogen will be helpful for high capacity fuel consuming companies, vehicles, train, and even for the aviation sector. 

Back in 2020 when the company and the government begun to negotiate with the former Minister for Water, Irrigation & Energy, Sileshi Bekele (PhD), it had expressed its interest to invest about USD 10 billion into its project in Ethiopia. 

The company’s country manager for Ethiopia, Eden Fenta said it will start to build the plant shortly after deciding on the location and assess some of the market opportunities in and outside of the country. 

“There is a huge demand from Germany and it will be a big opportunity for us to export the energy,” Eden said, adding “The Company may supply power for domestic consumption as well based on the demand locally.” 

The company plans to start power production in Ethiopia beginning in 2026, bringing power in the form of hydropower and geothermal energy. The FFI had previously launched green energy projects in different countries like Argentina with the project cost estimated at USD 8.4 billion.

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