USD1.26bn for African electricity highway
GOVERNMENTBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Private sector investment key to continent’s development, says KaberukaAfrican Development Bank support for private equity investment in Africa recorded a major success this week, when The Carlyle Group announced it had raised $698 million for its new Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. Read More
Ghana’s ‘big bang’ approach tackles data penetrationWith 110% voice penetration, full data penetration is the next big target in Ghana, says the NCA. Read More
Kenya unveils ICT master planKenya has launched the national Information, Communication Technology Master Plan 2017 to spur economic growth in the country. Read More
Botswana to enhance education through ThutonetLaunching the Thutonet Governance Structure, Secretary of Education Reforms, Taboka Nkhwa, said for Botswana to make any appreciable progress in its socio-economic development efforts, substantial resources should be directed at improving educational delivery. Read More
Kenya to digitally register all citizens afreshKenya plans to digitally register all citizens as part of national planning and the war against terrorism. Read More
Botswana passes electronic transaction, communications billThe Botswana Parliament has passed the Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill, which gives legal recognition to electronic transactions. Read More
Angola stimulates ICT innovation in governmentThe Angolan Government is seeking to boost the use of ICTs in public service administration and service delivery through its ‘Innovate’ programme for the public sector. Read More
Kenyan Deputy President takes to TwitterKenya’s Deputy President William Ruto took to Twitter today, to interact with Kenyans on the platform for the first time. Read More
Nigeria, China sign power MoUA consortium of companies in Nigeria and a Group of top-rate Chinese investors have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on power plant projects, including the assembling and manufacturing of pre-paid power meters. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.