USD1.26bn for African electricity highway
ETHIOPIABy 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 ETHIOPIA NEWS
AUC on education: leave no one behindICTs, infrastructure and collaboration must be employed to ensure that no country is left behind in Africa’s efforts to improve education, delegates heard at an AU Commission education forum. Read More
African Union marks Science and Technology weekScience and Technology is key for Africa’s socio-economic advancement, says the African Union. Read More
Ethio telecom moves to next phase of expansionEthio telecom reports that it has concluded the task of telecoms vendor allocation and is now proceeding to implement its network expansion project. Read More
New Climate Innovation Centre in EthiopiaEthiopia is set to reap the rewards of a new initiative to help local businesses develop and deploy climate friendly technologies that will create thousands of new green jobs. Read More
Ethiopia approves 3 new solar projectsEthiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has approved a 300 Megawatt solar project in partnership with two US firms. Read More
Kaberuka named African of the YearAfrican Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka has been named 2013 African of the Year. Read More
Joint initiative to boost youth employment in AfricaA Declaration of Intent on youth job creation has been signed at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read More
AUC launches AU Agenda 2063 websiteThe African Union has officially launched the Agenda 2063 website, aiming to highlight a common vision for the African continent. Read More
IBM develops plan to enhance Ethiopia’s trade and streamline governanceIBM experts have recommended strategies for strengthening Ethiopia's livestock industry - the primary source of income for the majority of citizens - and making government more efficient. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.