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
Tigo Cash first in line to accept e-Goverment payments through IremboTigo Rwanda has announced its partnership with Rwanda Online Platform Ltd (ROPL) for e-Government service payments via the Irembo,gov.rw e-government portal. Read More
SIM deactivation: NCC to sanction telcos over non-complianceThe Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), says it will impose sanctions on Nigeria carriers over partial and non-compliance with its directive to deactivate all SIMs that do not conform to laid down procedures. Read More
Expert wants MDAs to embrace e-revenue collectionAn electronic payment expert, Deremi Atanda, has urged Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to embrace the use of technology, especially the electronic or e-payment platform to collect revenue. Read More
SADC lends weight to STIThe Southern African Development Community (SADC) has put its weight behind the regional initiatives to boost Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Read More
NCA to auction Infrastructure LicenseGhana’s National Communication Authority will soon be auctioning its Infrastructure License to the public. Read More
Telcos get 7-day SIM ultimatumThe Nigerian Communications Commission has handed down a seven-day ultimatum to network providers to deactivate all pre-registered SIM cards or face sanctions. Read More
Prof Danbatta named NCC chiefPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof Umar Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. Read More
CEO of BOCRA to open SAPOA AGMThari Pheko, The Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) Chief Executive Officer will be the guest of honour at the 14th southern Africa Postal Operators Association annual general meeting. Read More
Prof Quaynor calls for greater partnerships within Ghana’s ICT sectorThe Board Chairman of Ghana’s National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, has called for a much greater collaboration and partnership within the country’s Information and Communication Technology sector. Read More
August is Science, Technology and Innovation MonthBotswana’s Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST), Hon. Nonofo Molefhi will officially launch the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) month on Tuesday. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.