Ethiopia rations electricity as demand surges


Ethiopia introduced power rationing on Thursday due to a shortage caused by increased demand and late rains, officials said.


Supply will be disconnected twice a week from 8:00am-2:00pm (0500-1100 GMT) for a month, the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC) said in a statement.  


"Delay in March-April rain and the growing demand for electric power by new investors in the country also resulted in an extra 80 megawatt demand thus forcing power rationing," said the statement.


EEPC said the power shortage was also due to problems with the Tekeze and Gilgel-Gibe hydroelectric dams.


The body called on industrial establishments and other big firms to set up their own diesel generators until situation improved.


Analysts say the power cuts would hurt small businesses which mainly use computers to trade.


EEPC, has a capacity to supply 814 MW at present and aims at increasing its power supply capacity by a further 300 MW, when Tekeze dam in the north becomes operational by July, this year it said. (Reuters)