By Seleshi Tessema
ADDIS ABABA(AA) – Ethiopia on Sunday commissioned Africa’s first major waste-to-energy plant designed to dispose three-quarters of the rubbish of capital Addis Ababa and provide energy to 25 percent of the population.
The 50-megawatt plant on the site of Koshe, Ethiopia’s largest rubbish dump, has emerged after the landfill had collapsed on nearby dwellers, killing some 140 people, in March 2017.
Koshe is located in southwest of the metropolis hosting an estimated 5 million population.
President Mulatu Teshome inaugurated the project which he described as a practical demonstration of the government’s strategy aimed at reducing pollution and realizing the huge potential of the country’s renewable energy.
‘’It is a significant project of garbage disposal, recycling and environmental protection,’’ he added.
Ethiopia invested $96 million in the plant which is constructed by British firm Cambridge Industries Limited and China National Electrical Engineering Company. It took nearly four years to complete the project which has begun generating 25 Megawatt and it will reach its potential in the coming years.
According to Engineer Samuel Zemichael, a representative of Cambridge Industries, the facility will process 1,400 tonnes of the city’s waste per day. “It will also generate 185 gigawatt hours of electricity annually which is connected to the national grid.”
"This plant is Africa’s first major waste-to-energy plant and could serve as a benchmark for the region and the continent waste management which requires revolutionary methods,’’ Zemichael added.
The project has created jobs for 1,300 Ethiopians and 286 expatriates.