Kenya joins regional power supply plan
May 18, 2006
- The Nation
Kenya is among three countries set to
benefit from a Sh 47.5 bn ($ 660 mm) electricity generation
project. Kenya was working alongside Tanzania and
Zambia on a joint interconnection project expected
to help the countries access electricity from southern
Africa, Energy assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri
said. This is also expected to reduce electricity
costs and eradicate shortages.
Mr Kiunjuri made the
announcement while reading a joint communique after
a meeting between ministers from the three countries
in Mombassa. "The project will also increase opportunities
for regional electricity trade within the framework
of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD),"
he said. Present were Zambia's minister for Energy
and Water Development, Mr Felix Mutati, and Tanzania's
minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Ibrahim Msabaha.
The project is to be developed in two stages. Phase
One will transfer more than 200 MW from the Southern
African Power Pool at a cost of Sh 25 bn ($ 358 mm).
"Phase Two, which is estimated to cost Sh 21 bn ($
302 mm), will have a transfer capacity of 400 MW,"
Mr Kiunjuri said. The first phase is scheduled to
be completed by 2009 and the second in 2014. In Phase
Two, a second circuit is to be added onto the Zambia-Tanzania
inter-connector and the section between Singida and
Arusha in Tanzania would be reinforced. "Apart from
transmission of power, the towers carrying the high
voltage transmission conductors will also carry low
voltage conductors for rural electrification along
the transmission corridor," the assistant minister
The innovative design would enable communities
living close to the line to be supplied with electricity,
which Mr Kiunjuri said would enhance the social and
economic development of Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
"A telecommunications fibre optic cable will be installed
on the transmission line, to enhance communication
links between the East African Community and SADC
member States," he said.
Negotiations for funding
and implementing the Tanzania-Kenya inter-connector
components with a Dutch firm, Vatech Elin Holec High
Voltage, are at an advanced stage. Financing under
the concessionary Dutch programme is expected to be
in place by early 2007. Construction should start
soon thereafter and is projected to be completed in
24 months, Mr Kiunjuri said.
The technical, economic,
financial and environmental studies on the Zambia-Tanzania
inter-connector, which will be the second phase, have
been completed. With regard to the reinforcement of
the transmission system within Tanzania to facilitate
transfer of power to Kenya, the environmental studies
are in progress and will be completed in May, he said.
The three governments had secured grants worth Sh
57 mm or ($ 800,000) for preparatory activities on
the project from the NEPAD Infrastructure Project
Preparatory Fund. A consortium of consultants had
been hired as transaction advisers to provide financial,
technical and legal advisory services for the initial
stage of the project. Source: The Nation