Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has signed a 2.5 billion construction project with CGC Overseas (CGCOC), to construct its headquarters. The delayed project is to be completed by 2019. Short-listed for the project were CGCOC and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC),which constructed the African Union headquarters.
“It’s a matter of priority, we prioritize the mega projects such as Headquarters,” said Azeb Asnake CEO, explaining that the project had been delayed by a decade.
At the last fiscal year, the planned capital budget for EEP was 58 billion Br and its 60pc budget was to be used for major projects such as the Gibe III hydropower, Genale Dawa III, Adama’s wind farm projects and other geothermal initiatives.
For the past two-years, the company has been at its current headquarters, located at the back of Awash Bank’s headquarter and been paying an annual rent of 35 million Br.
The new 34 level-building will land on 50,000 sqm land and will be located in the heart of the Financial district of Ethiopia, a stone-throw away from the tallest building in Ethiopia, the headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia on St. Ras Leulseged Road. MH engineering, a 20-year-old local engineering firm, that helped design the building at a cost of 5.7 million Br. is to supervise the construction. MH is a veteran firm, involved in construction works with more than 30 public universities, public condominiums, and stadiums in Neqemte, Addis Abeba, Bahir Dar, Gambella and Assosa.
The EEP’s headquarter will consist of a main tower building of 150 meters and 3 floors underground parking. Inside the multi-purpose building, will be a large conference hall, a lounge and underground parking for up-to 600 cars.
Established 33 years ago, CGCOC is a co-owner of Tsehay real-estate S.C and is a leading player in the real-estate sector in luxury apartments around the roundabout on CMC. In recent years, it has entered the manufacturing sector as owner of the Hansom International Glass Factory, a joint venture with the China-Africa Development Bank with a capital of 16 million Br.
“The building will be an eco-friendly project, an evidence to a long haul partnership with the country” said Wang Wencai, General Manager of the Energy section for CGCOC Group. Over half of the building’s power supply is expected to be sourced from solar energy, through panels built within the complex. EEP hopes to house all of its 3500-Addis Ababa-based employees at the new headquarter.
“Local involvement has to be cautiously treated, and mechanisms to ensure local-foreign partnership has to be implemented for the benefit of local contractors on mega projects” commented Messle Haile (Phd), general manager of MH.
“There is no big challenge for the local contractors to work as a joint venture with foreigner,” said Samson Sahile, a contractor with two decades of experience, explains. “unless the government forces foreign contractors to work jointly with local contractors, most of them will not even entertain the idea”.
“The local companies don’t have enough capital to work on such projects,” Azeb explained “But, the project will allow the locals to participate as sub-contractors.” EEP split from the former Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority (EELPA) three years ago. This branch focuses on the work of generating, transmitting and wholesale of electricity across the country.