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Zambian Power to Boost National Grid

Aug 14, 2009 - The Citizen/All Africa Global Media

Transmission of electricity from Zambia to the Tanzanian national grid is going on well, the minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja, has said.

He was addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the sidelines of a conference on Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development (IPAD) and East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC).

He said the Government has a strategy to link thenational grid with that of the neighbouring country. "The process of getting extra electricity from Zambia is on course," Mr Ngeleja said.

He further said that the electricity would be transmitted from Serenje- Zambia through Mbeya, Dar es Salaam, Singida and Arusha to Nairobi, Kenya. Already funds for evaluation of the project from Singida to Nairobi have been obtained.

However, he did not indicate how much has been granted for the project, although it is estimated to cost $650 million. The project would be implemented in two phases costing $300 million and $350 million respectively.

According to Mr Ngeleja, it is anticipated that the project would convey 400MW from Zambia to Tanzania and 300MW from the Tanzanian national grid to Kenya.

He hoped that the Zambia-Tanzania- Kenya power transmission line would increase the amount of electricity available and reduce the power shortages facing the country.

It will also enhance security of supply and foster economic and regional integration. Mr Ngeleja said all economic and financial aspects of the project had been completed and presently the transmission line was being rehabilitated.

He said once the project is ready, it will make Zambia have a strategic role in the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) member countries because of its geographical location.

Development of the interconnection will encourage investment in new hydropower generation capacity in Zambia, he said.

He further said that the project encompasses a 700km double circuit 330kV transmission line from Zambia to Mbeya in Tanzania. Another is a 260km 330kV

transmission line between Arusha and Nairobi in Kenya.

"We are still looking for funds from financiers to complete our project. They include the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Development Bank of southern Africa (DBSA)" he said