Kenya-Ethiopia Power Project Bids Finalized

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The tender for the construction of the 1000km long Kenya-Ethiopia power line will be advertised soon, with construction scheduled to begin before the end of the year, said the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company. Apart from the transmission line, converter stations will be erected at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000MW. The contractors for the converter stations have already been shortlisted, according to Ketraco managing director, Joel Kiilu. The project, that will link Kenya and Ethiopia’s power grids, has received all the required funding and will take an estimated 36 months to complete and should be operational by 2017. Ethiopia has a more stable power output and its power is also cheaper than Kenya’s. Kenya hopes the project will lead to lower energy costs and attract more investors. A government study on the least-cost power development plan by the Ministry of Energy has recognized that power imports from neighboring countries are cost effective.
The integration of the power systems is hoped to create a “power pool”, plugging into Ethiopia’s massive hydro-power resources, enabling Ethiopia to sell its surplus electricity to Kenya. The $1.26 billion (KES 07.1 billion) cross-border power line will be co-financed by the two governments, the World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the French Agency for Development (AFD).
(The Star)