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
Minister urges Rwandan girls to enter ICT careersRwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has called on Rwandan girls to take up studies and careers in ICT as these offer a chance for them to enhance their skills and tackle unemployment challenges. Read More
Rwanda ranked first globally in ICT promotionThe Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2015 has ranked Rwanda first globally in Government Success in ICT promotion to drive social and economic transformation. Read More
Uganda NBI Phase 3 to commencePhase 3 of Uganda’s National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) has been approved by Government and is now set to commence. Read More
Kenyan tech development held back by corruption - NdemoKenya’s development as a tech hub in East Africa is being held back by corruption and “tender-preneurs” says Dr Bitange Ndemo, former PS at the Ministry of ICT. Read More
Zambian president witnesses MoU signing with HuaweiThe President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Edgar Lungu, met with Huawei Senior Vice President Mr. Dafeng Li during his visit to Shenzhen in China. Read More
East African countries to expand One-Network-Area to data, mobile moneyKenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda will in the next year extend the One-Network-Area concept to data and mobile money. Read More
APC judgment: NCC seeks stay of executionNCC is seeking a stay of execution of judgement following a notice of appeal against the High Court judgement that it violated the rights of the APC. Read More
Digital can overcome Africa’s challenges – Ivory Coast PMAfrica has serious challenges and to overcome them, the continent needs to go the digital route, Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said at the 2015 Africa IT & Telecom Forum (AITTF) last week. Read More
NCC postpones 2.6GHz spectrum auction againNigeria’s telecoms industry regulator has again postponed the proposed auctioning of the 2.6 gigahertz (GHZ) spectrum band. Read More
Public private partnerships panacea to broadband development, says Etisalat chiefChief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, Ahmad Julfar has identified public private partnership (PPP) as one approach that could help African countries boost broadband development. He argued that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.