The World Bank has agreed to provide a loan of US$200M for a hydroelectric power project to be built on the Gilgel Gibe river in Ethiopia. The loan agreement was signed by World Bank vice president for Africa, Callisto Madavo, and Ethiopian Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed.

The Bank said in a statement that the plant will provide much-needed generating capacity for the power system by the year 2000, and provide 250,000 customers with access to electricity. The money will come from the Bank’s soft lending arm, the International Development Association, without interest but with a 0.75% service charge over a 40-year period, with a grace period of ten years.