SETTING THE TIMELINE

Construction of Kenya-Tanzania electricity line to begin May

The construction of the 510 kilometer Kenya-Tanzania electricity transmission line is expected to commence in May, this is according to Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Acting CEO Fernandes Barasa.

“The funding for the project has already been secured and actual construction is expected to begin in May this year and completed after 24 months from the day of commencement,” Barasa explained during the launch of the Energy Journalism Excellence Awards (EJEA).

Funding comes from the African Development Bank which contributed US$ 50m and will cater for the construction of Kenya’s portion which is constituted of nearly 96 kilometers.

However, the process of selecting the contractor for the Kenyan side will be completed in a few weeks to come.

Once the interconnector is complete, Kenya and Tanzania will enjoy power trade and if either country has excess power it will be able to sell some to its neighbours.

In 2013, Kenya launched an impactful program that is anticipated to add 5,000 Megawatts to the national grid in 40 months time while Tanzania has made some discoveries of natural gas which can be used for generating electricity.

The transmission line will link Kenya to the East Africa Power Pool via a 510 kilometre 400kV transmission line constructed from Suswa in Naivasha. It will further be connected to the Ethiopia-Kenya transmission system through the Isinya-Suswa 400kV line, which is part of the Eastern Africa Electricity Highway.

It has a transfer capacity of 2,000MW which will create a major link for power transfer between the Eastern Africa Power Pool and countries in the north such as Egypt and Sudan.

The project will also go a long way in ensuring that 70 per cent of Kenyan households are connected with electricity by 2017 ahead of the target universal access by 2020.

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