M a r k e t N e w s

Chinese firm to build Sh2.6b power line to Tanzania

Posted on : Thursday, 20th October 2016

 The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company has contracted Chinese firm North China Power Engineering Company to construct a 96 kilometre power transmission line running between Isinya and Namanga at a cost of Sh2.6 billion.

This is part of the Kenya-Tanzania interconnector line that will hook Kenya’s national electricity grid to the Southern Africa Power Pool. The high voltage transmission line has a total length of 510km, of which 96km are in Kenya and about 414km in Tanzania.

The Kenyan component of the interconnector project is being financed by the Government of Kenya (GoK) and African Development Bank (AfDB) at a cost of Sh439.4 million and Sh2.2 billion ($22,428,704) respectively.

This is a split from the Tanzania component which is estimated to cost approximately $258.82 million (Sh26.2 billion). The total cost of the project is approximately Sh30.9 billion ($309.26 million).

Ketraco Chief Executive Fernandes Barasa said the Kenya-Tanzania interconnector transmission line will enable Kenya tap into electricity generated using cheap sources from neighbouring countries and play part in bringing down the cost of power. “The project will improve power supply, reliability and affordability in Kenya from renewable surplus power from neighbouring countries,” he said.

The project will enable Kenya access the Southern African Power Pool while Tanzania will be able to import hydropower from Ethiopia at a more competitive price compared to the high cost of thermal generation in both countries.
“Together with the completion of the Ethiopia–Kenya and the Lessos–Tororo lines, this regional interconnector, power evacuator and system strengthening line will certainly facilitate East and Southern African Power Pool exchange when Kenya and Rwanda receive 400MW and 200MW respectively in 2017 from Ethiopia,” said Barasa.
The power transmission line, when complete, is expected to enhance power trade in the region by facilitating the export and import of electricity. It will also feed in the Government’s ambitious strategy of increasing the installed capacity to over 6,000 megawatts from the current 2,333MW, which was the installed capacity as of December 2015, where Kenya will be able to export excess capacity.
“The realisation of the GoK’s strategy for an additional 5,000MW generation capacity between 2013 and 2017 and the potential to exploit gas reserves in Tanzania will provide further opportunities to exchange power among countries in the region,” said the project financier AfDB in a recent appraisal report on the project.
“Before the end of 2017, the Government of Tanzania is planning to develop new gas power plants with a generation capacity of 400MW.”

Source : www.standardmedia.co.ke
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