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ABB to strengthen power grid in Ethiopia

Substations to reinforce grid reliability and improve power system efficiency

(PresseBox) (Zurich, ) ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $26 million from EEPCO (Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation), the national power utility, to extend and upgrade four existing transmission substations in the central region of the country. The orders were booked in the third quarter.

Ethiopia is among the world's oldest civilizations, with a population of about 82 million, making it the second-most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years it has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and has made significant progress in improving key human development indicators and reducing poverty.

The Ethiopian government has launched a new five-year plan (2010-2015) called the Growth and Transformation Plan, aimed at fostering sustainable development. As part of this program, it aims to increase power generation capacity from approximately 2,000 MW (megawatts) to 8,000 MW and provide 75 percent of its population with access to electricity by 2015, almost doubling the number connected in 2010. Hydropower is a key focus area as the country uses only 5 percent of its abundant hydropower potential, estimated at 45,000 MW, the second-biggest in Africa.

"Access to electricity is a key factor for economic and social development. The substation extensions and upgrades will enhance transmission capacity and efficiency, to bring much needed electricity to consumers," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "The technologies deployed will also help strengthen grid reliability, and improve interconnection and power stability with neighboring countries."

The project, financed by the African Development Fund, is part of EEPCO's initiative to improve their electricity transmission system. This will help reduce transmission losses and provide power to more consumers across the country. The three 400/230 kilovolt (kV) and one 230/132/15 kV air-insulated switchgear substations are located in the greater Addis Ababa area.

ABB is responsible for the design, engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of the substations, including civil works. Some of the main products to be supplied include high-voltage products, switchgear and power transformers. ABB will also extend the existing substation automation, telecommunication, control and protection systems. The project is expected to be completed by 2013.

ABB is the world's leading supplier of turnkey air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,100 kV. These substations facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity with minimum environmental impact, serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables.

ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.