Three-Nation Electricity Project to Cost $350m
Sep 2, 2005 Kelvin Chambwa allafrica.com
THE Zambia-Kenya-Tanzania electricity inter-connector
project is expected to cost about US $350 million.
According to preliminary information following the
deliberations of the just ended joint meetings involving
Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda, the US $350 million,
approximately K1.5 trillion, project could be completed
Following a final round of talks yesterday involving
the electricity utility companies from Zambia, Tanzania,
Kenya and Rwanda, it was resolved that the rest of
this year would be spent on packaging the project
and mobilisation of funds.
Rwanda has also asked to be part of the interconnection.
Director for power operations of Eletrogaz Limited
(Rwanda's electricity utility) Brian Allan said the
company was hopeful that the definition of the project
would be clear in the next six months before actual
roll out for the project could start.
Allan said only five per cent of Rwanda's 8.2 million
population had access to electricity.
"Rwanda is currently suffering from significant shortages
of electricity. We would like to see the project kickoff
as soon as possible," said Allan.
Tanzania Electricity Supply Corporation (TANESCO)
general manager for transmission Hans Lottering said
the company was committed to the project.
"We thank Zambia for this initiative. The interconnection
will help us increase the number of people with access
to electricity and also strengthen Tanzania's transmission
network," Lottering said.
Lottering said only 10 per cent of Tanzania's 30
million population had access to electricity.
He said the Tanzanian government had a programme
of connecting up to 100,000 people to the national
electricity grid annually.
Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited managing
director Jasper Oduor said the company was confident
it would stand to benefit from the project.
"The benefits will also make it possible for us to
optimise the use of power and enable us supply power
among the countries involved, depending on who has
extra or who needs more," Odour said.
Zesco Limited managing director Rhodnie Sisala said
the electricity inter-connector would be like a common
link that would connect east and southern Africa up
to South Africa.
Sisala said the issue of tariffs was still being
He said the project had the full backing of the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as it
was one way for the promotion of infrastructure on
Sisala said among the potential institutions that
had indicated willingness to provide concessional
loans were the African Development Bank, Development
Bank of Southern Africa and the World Bank.
Ministry of Energy and Water Development manager
for the promotion of private power investment John
Wright said the project, due to its nature, would
be undertaken through a public sector approach.
The inter-connector project has three components
with the first one being the development of a 700-kilometre
power line from Serenje in Zambia to Mbeya in Tanzania.