New PV panel plant commissioned in Ethiopia


This is the first such photovoltaic facility in Ethiopia and one of the largest in Eastern Africa. It has been completed almost eight months after the contract for its construction was signed.

The semi-automated turn-key manufacturing plant was a joint project between Sky Energy International and Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) of Ethiopia. It is located in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.

"Once the facility is fully up and running, the goal is to sell the panels to the Ethiopian market which is in much need of electricity, specifically in rural areas where 80 percent of the country’s 85 million population live, and only about 2 percent are thought to have access to electricity," Sky Energy said in a statement.

The manufacturing facility also intends to supply panels to neighboring countries. The only other photovoltaic panel manufacturing facility in the region is in Kenya, operated by Ubbink East Africa.

Sky Energy is carrying out a two-phase training session of the new facility’s operators. The first batch of Ethiopian operators has completed their training while the final phase will commence in February.

The company was also involved in the acquisition of equipment for the manufacturing plant’s construction from U.S.-based Spire Corporation.

Furthermore, Sky Energy, which is already operating in Tanzania through co-ownership of CAMS-Sky Africa based in Dar es Salaam, is finalizing the opening of a subsidiary in Ethiopia. It aims to gain foothold in the region’s photovoltaic market, specifically in Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.