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Ethiopia opens plant to turn waste into energy

© AFP/File | A photo taken March 12, 2017 shows a view of the main landfill of Addis Ababa on the outskirts of the city, where Ethiopia has built a power plant to convert waste into energy

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - 

Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated a power plant which converts waste into energy, next to a filthy open-air dump in Addis Ababa where a landslide last year killed more than 110 people.

Named Reppie, the facility is the first of its kind in Africa, according to the government and the British company Cambridge Industries behind the project, and will turn 1,400 tons of waste per day into energy.

Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome said at the ceremony that the country "has been investing extensively in hydro power, geothermal, wind energy and now biomass to boost the manufacturing sector with a supply of clean, renewable energy."

Reppie is located beside a massive dump called Koshe, a slang word for "dirt" in the country's main Amharic language.

There for over 40 years, Koshe serves as the main rubbish tip in Ethiopia's capital which has a rapidly rising population, currently at more than four million people.

A huge landslide killed more than 110 people in March 2017, which scavengers blame on the construction of the incineration plant next door.

Building of the waste-to-power plant began in 2014 at a cost of around 118 million dollars (103 million euros). The incinerated waste will generate steam which will then drive a turbine that produces electricity at a projected power of 25 megawatts per day.

© 2018 AFP