USD1.26bn for African electricity highway
GOVERNMENT| Sept. 21, 2012, 3:36 p.m.
The Board of the African Development Fund has approved USD348 million in funding for a USD1.26-billion electricity highway project between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Due for commissioning in November 2017, the project involves the construction of a 1,068-kilometre high-voltage direct current 500 kV transmission line between the two countries. It also includes putting up of associated converter stations at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 MW.
The project is intended to promote power trade and regional integration, contribute to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries’ social and economic development, and reduce poverty in those countries.
“With the approval of this project, we have solidified our position as the key strategic partner for East African countries in the power sector,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB’s Regional Director in charge of East Africa.
“Our involvement in the project has included a leading role in the preparation of the project and financing some of the feasibility studies required to appraise the project and make it bankable. We have mobilized funds from other development partners in a timely and efficient manner. The project is also perfectly aligned with the climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy of the Bank, as it has the potential to replace some fossil-fuelled thermal generation in the East African region.”
The project has been co-financed with the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Governments of Kenya and Ethiopia. This key inter-country power link comes at a time when demand for electricity in the East African region has steadily risen relative to supply, leading to occasional severe power shortages. To alleviate this situation, East African countries have had to resort to exorbitantly expensive power from emergency generators. However, the region is blessed with a great variety of natural resources, in particular hydropower, mainly concentrated in Ethiopia.
The integration of the power systems of the EAPP will enable the development of Ethiopia’s large hydropower resources for the export market and address power shortages throughout the region. The project will position Ethiopia as the main powerhouse and Kenya as the main hub for power trade in the East African region. However, it is anticipated that power will flow in both directions: from Ethiopia to East African countries all the way to the Southern African Power Pool in the short term, and/or from the Eastern and Southern power pools to Egypt and Sudan in the long run.
In Kenya alone, the additional power injected into the national grid will enable the supply of electricity to an additional 870,000 households by 2018, and a cumulative total of 1.4 million additional households by 2022, of which 18% will be located in rural areas. Businesses and industries will also benefit, with around 3,100 GWh of additional energy by 2018, increasing to around 5,100 GWh by 2022.
“The East African region is blessed with abundant energy resources which have remained untapped for some time, in particular hydropower and geothermal. With the implementation of this flagship project, which is meant to be an anchor link in establishing the backbone of the EAPP, energy resources can be pooled at the regional level to create a regional electricity market through power trading,” said Thierno Bah, AfDB’s Senior Power Engineer.
“Power trading will ensure enhanced power security for the EAPP countries and result in cost savings for the electricity companies and ultimately lower tariffs for end users. The two electricity companies, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) in Ethiopia and Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (KETRACO) in Kenya, will also benefit from additional revenues from carbon credits with the innovative Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology developed by the Bank and recently approved by the CDM methodology panel,” he added.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policyThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More
No deal with MTN on fine, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s Communications Technology Minister says no concrete deal has been sealed in respect of the fine imposed on MTN. Read More
CA rejects misleading reports on Essar saleThe Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya board of directors, Ngene Gituku, has refuted allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct around the sale of Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd. Read More
Smart Africa seeks One Africa NetworkICT Ministers and telecoms regulatory bodies meeting in Kigali have resolved to implement the new One Africa regional telecommunications framework initiative this year. Read More
Kenyan mobile operators fail on QoS targetsThe Communications Authority of Kenya says Kenya’s mobile operators have failed to meet Quality of Service standards for the third year running. Read More
Glo Ghana sanctioned for call setup time delaysThe Ghana NCA says it has sanctioned Ghana’s sixth network operator, Glo, for failing in its Call Setup Time obligation within the Greater Accra region. Read More
Facebook post costs Kenyan $50000A social media user in Kenya has been fined Kshs 5million for allegedly defaming a member of parliament on social media; in a ruling that will set a precedent on any future internet cases in Kenya. Read More
BTCL lists on local bourseA journey that began close to a decade ago has culminated in the first successful privatisation of a Botswana state entity – BTCL. Read More
Huawei appointed lead ICT consultant for UgandaHuawei has been appointed as a lead ICT consultant in Uganda, and has named ten Ugandans to benefit from its Seeds for the Future development programme. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSRSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey.Networks Unlimited event highlights SimpliVity's new Omnistack Software
Leading data protection focused distributor invites hyperconverged vendor to discuss disaster recovery and data protection.