Last week, managing director of the Tanzanian power company Tanesco, Felchesmi Mramba, highlighted that Ethiopia is generating 6,000MW of power, which can be tapped into by neighbouring states.
The Tanzanian and Ethiopian governments are currently in the final stages of signing a 400MW power purchase agreement, East African Business Week reported.
“The project aims at enabling East African Community (EAC) member states to identify sources of cheap electricity for increased power interchanges. Ethiopia has made progress in hydropower generation and is also endowed with abundant renewable energy resources.
“These include untapped geothermal, solar and wind energy,” Mramba said.
EAPP to strengthen inter-trade relations
According to Mramba, installation of power generation and transmission facilities would not only foster economic integration, but also cater for the region’s power needs for the next 25 years, media reported.
This sentiment was highlighted earlier this year by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO), acting managing director, Fernandes Barasa, who said that interconnectivity will facilitate trade of electricity within the region.
Barasa said at the time: “Countries with surplus electricity production will be able to sell to those with deficit electricity and this will improve energy security in the region.”
Interconnectivity projects underway
Included in the EAPP is Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea and Tanzania.
Mramba added: “Interconnection of the power systems entails synchronisation of electricity supply services such that an area of power, abundance would offset shortages in another country, and vice-versa.
“Studies in 2009 established the technical and economic viability of the project to meet population growth demand.”
Already developments are being seen between Kenya and Ethiopia with the the Kenya-Ethiopia transmission 1,000km high voltage direct current (HVDC) line expected to be completed within the next two years.
The project, known as the Ethiopia-Kenya Power Systems Interconnection Project, will transmit environmentally friendly hydroelectricity from Ethiopia to Kenya.
The project, which is estimated to cost $450 million will be financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), is scheduled for operation in Q4 of 2018.