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Eritrea Expands Electrical Network

Hirgigo power plant


Qingdaohaixi Marine Diesel Co., Ltd. (QMD) and EPC contractor Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute recently signed a contract to supply Eritrea with two MAN B&W 12K60MC-S low-speed engines that will run on liquid fuel.

The engines will play a key part in the expansion of the Hirgigo power plant, located 5 km southwest of Massawa, the major city on the Red Sea coast. Shanghai Electric will manufacture the generators for the engines, which are being produced for the Eritrean Electric Corporation (EEC).

The EEC has chosen the latest mark of the K60MC-S engine type and the two units will provide a joint mechanical output of 47.52 MW at 150 rpm. The engines will comply with the NOx emission limit of the World Bank’s 2008 regulation, i.e. 1850 mg/Nm3 at 15% O2 dry.

Based on statistical information, the distribution of the electrical consumption in Eritrea is 57% for industrial purposes, 22% for residential areas and 21% for commercial use. When the two new engines enter operation, MAN B&W two-stroke, low-speed diesel engines will account for approximately 73% of Eritrea’s total power supply.


MAN Diesel & Turbo views the new order as a major breakthrough for several reasons, primarily because it is the first time a Chinese licensee has received an order for a stationary application with MAN B&W engines outside of China. It is also QMD’s first order for MAN B&W engines as well as the first occasion where a Chinese company will supply low-speed generators outside of China for engines with an MAN B&W design.

About QMD

Qingdaohaixi Marine Diesel Co., Ltd. signed a two-stroke license agreement with MAN Diesel & Turbo in October 2014. QMD is a joint venture of Yichang Marine Diesel Engine Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, and a member of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC)., and is based at Haixi Bay, Qingdao, north-eastern China.

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Eritrea Expands Electrical Network Reviewed by Admin on 11:35 AM Rating: 5


  1. The fact that Eritrean people is relatively "small in number", turns as an advantage when you plan to solve the main infrastructures like electricity, agriculture, school ect..With this pace, in a limited time Eritrea will ensure social justice.

  2. ግና፡ነዚ፡ስለዝፈልጡዮም፡እንቅፋታት፡ጥራይ፡ዝገብሩ፡ዘለው፡እቲኦም፡ናቶም፡ከልብታት፡ድማ፡አብዚ፡መጽዮም፡ዋይ፡ዋይ፡ይብሉለው።እንታይ፡ክገብሩ፡ማዶታ፡ናቶም፡መመሀላፊ፡ብዙሀን፡ኩይኑሎም።

  3. First the 2.7 miniwatt that the EU gave Eritrea last month and now the Chinese with their 48 miniwatt. Eritrea's energy problems are so big, even the biggest investor inside the country (Nevsun) felt the pain recently. The percentage of people having access to electricity in Eritrea is supposedly higher than in Ethiopia. The big difference is that Ethiopia is rapidly expanding its capacity to generate energy, while there are no significant projects in the pipeline in Eritrea (with the exception of the 2.7 miniwatt EU assistance and now the Chinese of course).

    Just to give you an indication on the power projects on the table/under construction/completed: Gilgel Gibe 1 (184MW), Gilgel Gibe 2 (420MW), Tekeze 1 (300MW), Tana Beles (460MW), Adama 1/2 wind farm (350MW), Genale Dawa 3(254MW), Guder dam (1780MW), Gibe 3 (1870MW) and of course the mighty GERD (6000MW). Note that these are just a fraction of the power projects in Ethiopia and note that all of them (without exception) have greater capacity (in many cases more than 10 times) than Hirgigo power plant.

    Eritrea of course has no significant rivers like Ethiopia does (only seasonal), but it does have substantial geothermal potential (like Djibouti and Ethiopia). The question is why the Eritrean government doesn't utilize this potential, instead of waiting for small scale help from EU for projects that can not alleviate the great problems in Eritrea. Djibouti and Ethiopia already have geothermal projects under construction.

    Anyway the power networks of East Africa are interconnected (or in the stage of being connected), Kenya is importing energy from Ethiopia, same with Djibouti, Sudan will soon import energy, Rwanda has shown interest. Furthermore, due to the huge amount of cheap electricity that Ethiopia will have access to in the coming years and decades, railway is becoming the cheapest form of transport for Ethiopia and its neighbors (except Eritrea of course). That is why Kenya will build a railway line to Ethiopia, Djibouti will finish a railway line to Ethiopia this year, and South Sudan will start a railway line from Juba-Jimma-Addis-Adama all the way to Djibouti. Most countries in the region are building infrastructure to connect to each others markets. Eritrea has bad relations with two of its three neighbors.

    Eritrea's tiny expansion of its electrical network is nice, but it's not enough. It's in the same category of news as Eritrean Airlines (wet) leasing a twenty year old airbus from a Ukrainian company, or ambassadors presenting their credentials to isaias, or Venezuela chairing the SEMG. All these news items have one thing in common: They will not have a significant impact on Eritrea's future, but they are enough to get naive regime supporters that live comfortably in the west exited. I will let you guys know when Gilgel Gibe 3 is finished (this year).

  4. Ouch, did you really have to take them back to reality again man? Don't be so hard on these shaboons. Live is tough these days if you're an isaias supporter. He is like a cornered rat, more isolated than ever before. Why did you have to mention all those massive projects underway in Ethiopia. These fools already have a hard time, realizing Ethiopia is not worried about Eritrea like Eritrea is about its neighbor down south. Shaboons, could you tell us how Ailing Airlines is doing these days? Haha, life is tough isn't it.

  5. The year 2014, what a year it was. Here is Eritrea marching to the Promised Land; here were the Eritreans celebrating the arrival of the New Year with such a joy and pride; and what did the toothless barking dogs from the streets of West do? They went back to their lonely cage with their tail tagged between their legs.

    The year 2014, what a year it was. After (1) the ground breaking ceremony to build a permanent structure at College of Mai Nefhi at the cost of $30,000,000; (2) as the news of building “500 schools in 700 days’ exploded to stun every conceivable toothless barking dog from the streets; and now (3) a 50 MW power plant is be built to augment the HIRGIGO power plant. All these ground breaking ceremonies to have happened in the last 6 moths of 2014.

    That is the truth. Do not take my word for it just log on the links below and read more.

    By the way, here is Addis Ababa nominated as the capital city of prostitution, Chat addiction, homosexuality, and alcoholism. Over 300,000 young girls, ages 10 to 14, are now prostitutes. This shame is over and above what you see people on sanitary landfill forging for their daily bread. Incidentally, it being reported that the cost of living in Ethiopia has jumped by 7.1% just in one month due souring price of CHAT. As for the shortage food, that is a topic long forgotten for discussion.

  6. Ayte Berhane,
    Most of your Gibe watts will end up lighting the 100,000 prostitution business, to maintain
    Woyanes economic boom.
    Hope there will be some power left for your Quenty farming in Adwa.

  7. Ok yr justification looks good especially the interconnection between the African countries. Do y think the situation will continue like this in Eritrea? Don't worry.! Capacity building of one society is good i.e through education, health services and social structure vis a vis sharing and equal distribution of incomes. Our motto and concern is self reliance, to keep our solidarity, sharing the shortages thru different means and looking forward for future generation. If a given country tries to reach its grass roots people personally I believe that is development. The Eritrean people know each other and is very easy to reach down. Again I commended the good wish for other African countries but I advise y to consider also the policies difference. Peace and stablity is very crucial. What y mentioned is fureshe unless there is peace. Lastly, I feel so bad when I hear such comparison and provocation from an African.


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