Ethiopia: Chinese manufacturer Dongfang Electric is tipped to build a 120MW wind power facility at Aysha, in western Ethiopia, with funding from the China Exim Bank.
It is thought likely that a Chinese company will also be awarded a further 60MW at Aysha, again with Exim Bank support, in partnership with Ethiopia's state-owned Metal and Engineering Corporation.
This is in addition to the 51MW already turning at Adama I with Goldwind turbines and 153MW under construction at Adama II, powered by Sany. Both projects were awarded to HydroChina International Engineering Company in a joint-venture with Chinese construction group CGCOC and backed by the Exim Bank. HydroChina also helped draw up Ethiopia's wind and solar energymaster plan in 2012.
By contrast, the sole European initiative is the 120MW Ashegoda facility, which French manufacturer Vergnet is currently completing using Vergnet and Alstom turbines, with funding from France. The European Investment Bank has also expressed interest in backing another 120MW at Aysha. The project would then be open to international tender.
The H and M Fulton Street store opens on July 3, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Swedish fashion retailer said Friday it would expand its network of suppliers to Ethiopia, after concentrating 80 percent of its production in Asian countries. (Getty Images/AFP/File)
STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H and M) said Friday it would expand its network of suppliers to Ethiopia, after concentrating 80 percent of its production in Asian countries.
"We are an expansive company and are constantly looking at new potential purchasing markets to guarantee that we have capacity to deliver products to all stores in our expansive markets," H and M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk told AFP.
"We do that by increasing the productivity on the existing production markets as well as looking at new markets," she added.
Test orders have been placed with Ethiopian suppliers and new factories will be built this autumn, but it is too early to say how many suppliers will be used and when the factories will be ready for production, according to Emilsson-Falk.
The East African country has had a long history in textile, leather and shoe production since its Italian occupation in 1939. Other apparel retailers have already begun sourcing products in the country, including Tesco and Chinese shoe-manufacturer Huajian, providing footwear to Guess and Tommy Hilfiger.
"Ethiopia is a country with strong development and we trust that we can sustain economic growth and job opportunities there," said Emilsson-Falk.
Despite strong economic growth, 9.9 percent on yearly average since 2004 according to the World Bank, the sub-Saharan nation remains one of the world's poorest. And one year after the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi, the country is still criticised for its lack of human rights by watchdog organisations.
"We did an extensive risk analysis for Ethiopia, looking at human rights and environmental issues in the country," said Emilsson-Falk. "We have worked with improvement of working conditions in our production countries for many years and will apply our experience when establishing relationships with the Ethiopian suppliers."
H and M, which has stores in Egypt and Morocco, has no concrete plans for further expansion in Africa.
Two Swedish journalists who were kept in jail for 14 months in the country were released in September 2012
Oil wells. Photo - Tommaso Galli via Flickr under creative commons license
Tullow Oil, the British explorer that found Kenya's first crude a year ago, is about to find out whether the resources extend into neighboring Ethiopia, a nation dependent on agriculture that's yet to discover any petroleum. Tullow, Africa Oil Corp. and Marathon Oil Corp. plan to complete their Sabisa well in western Ethiopia's South Omo Block this quarter.
"The first discovery would be big news," said Martin Mbogo, Tullow's manager for Kenya, where its Ngamia well struck oil in March. "That would be historical for Ethiopia."
Tullow, a London-based explorer, is targeting East Africa's Tertiary Rift, a geological fault that's yielded oil in Uganda as well as Kenya. For the company, an Ethiopian find may prove a new oil province. For the country, evidence of crude could help the government curb energy imports and diversify an economy that relied on coffee for about a quarter of export earnings in 2011.
"We are importing every drop of oil and gas," Ethiopian Mines Minister Sinknesh Ejigu said last week. "We want to change this game."
Licenses won by Tullow and Africa Oil in Kenya and Ethiopia cover an area almost as large as the North Sea. Only 11 wells have been drilled there so far, compared with more than 2,400 wells in the sea. While gas has been found in eastern Ethiopia, the partners are focusing on the western Omo region in the hope it will prove the extension of the petroleum system from Kenya.
"The structure is almost identical to what we see at Ngamia," Africa Oil Vice President of Business Development James Phillips said in an interview in Addis Ababa. "This is a huge well for Ethiopia. This is really a key well."
The country needs energy to support economic growth. The East African nation still ranks 211th in terms of gross domestic product per capita, behind Mozambique and ahead of Togo, according to Central Intelligence Agency data.
"A hit at the well would effectively bookend the string- of-pearls play from Ngamia to Sabisa," Brian Gallagher, a London-based analyst at Investec Bank, wrote in a report this month. "Sabisa represents a trigger well with the potential to open up a new basin."
The government has a right to 10 per cent of the South Omo Block should the companies discover oil, Gallagher said. The Sabisa well is targeting about 140 million barrels of oil resources, he said, citing Tullow estimates. Africa Oil's Phillips, who served as chief operating officer until September 9, declined to comment on the progress of the well, citing disclosure regulations.
The Omo region is a "strange" area, he said. "A place like Omo is frankly the end of the Earth. It hasn't had any attention from oil and gas exploration ever."
The project partners are in talks with Kenya and Ethiopia to allow their contractor, China's BGP Inc., to conduct seismic studies in the border area covering the Omo River wetlands. The border is currently closed and it takes days to transport equipment on dirt roads to cross at the nearest checkpoint.
"It could be one of most prospective, interesting areas," Phillips said. "It's going to be a tricky area to work," which is similar to the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana.
The Kenya-Ethiopia frontier basin may hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil and gas resources, Nomura Holdings Inc. said in a January note. Tullow and Africa Oil plan to drill about 11 wells in the area this year, of which three will be in Ethiopia. The area is "10 times bigger than Tullow's Uganda acreage," Nomura said. The South Omo block is "one of the golden blocks of the Tertiary Rift," the brokerage said.