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Ethiopian Electric Power gets new boss
Ashebir Balcha

Ethiopian Electric Power gets new boss

The Board of Directors of Ethiopian Electric Power has appointed Ashebir Balcha, executive officer, power generation construction, as chief executive officer replacing Abraham Belay (PhD) who became Minister of Innovation and Technology.

Ashebir Balcha has been serving Ethiopian Electric Power since 2004 at various capacities. Ashebir, 39, a mechanical engineer by profession started his carrier with the former Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), at Gembi-Mendi-Assosa power transmission construction project. He also served as chief mechanical engineer at the Tekeze Hydo Power project.

Between 2012-2019, Ashebir served as project manager of the Geba hydor power project. Since October 2019 he was executive officer of power generation construction. Ashebir studied mechanical engineering at the ArbaMinch University and MBA at Greenwich University.

In related news Ethiopian Electric Power held a farewell party for the former CEO Abraham Belay (PhD). Abraham successfully led the reform program at the Ethiopian Electric Power since August 2018. Abraham is known for taking bold actions to turn around the debt ridden Ethiopian Electric Power.

Abraham is acclaimed for resolving the complicated problem of Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and bringing the dam construction back to track. He also solved the deadlock the Genale Dawa hydor power project faced in connection with compensation payments to local residents. He also solved the financial constraint that Koisha hydro power project and the Aisha wind farm project.   

Girma Birru, former board chairman of Ethiopian Electric, handed over a plaque for Abraham. Abraham is now the board chairman of Ethiopian Electric.

Despite Ethiopia’s huge energy potential, the country is still experiencing energy shortages as it struggles to serve a population of over 100 million and meet growing electricity demand which is forecast to grow by approximately 30 percent per year. Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) outlines a 15-year plan with three 5-year phases to transform Ethiopia from a developing country to a middle income country by 2025.

Under GTP I (2010-2015), the goal was to increase the installed generation capacity from 2,000 MW to 10,000 MW primarily through hydro power projects. With some of those projects still under construction, the country currently has approximately 4,500 MW of installed generation capacity. Under GTP II (2015-2020) the goal is to increase installed generation capacity by an additional 5,000 MW by 2022.