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Two east African countries, Kenya and Tanzania join forces to trade power by signing a deal to construct power interconnection transmission line.

The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO), in collaboration with the Kenya Transmission Company (Ketraco), has over the past weekend entered into a deal worth $309.26 million, which will see the implementation of a 414 kilometre power interconnection transmission line project to link the two countries.

According to local media Daily News, the power line will be erected from Singida via Arusha to Namanga border and Isinya in Kenya, covering 318 kilometres in Tanzania while the remaining 96 kilometres will be built in Kenya.

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TANESCO’s managing director,  Engineer Felchesmi Mramba. Pic credit: Tanzania Daily News

TANESCO’s managing director, Engineer Felchesmi Mramba, commented: “This project is one of the northern links of the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya, a broader project to connect the East African Power Pool (EAPP) and the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).”

Power interconnection transmission line project

Media quoted Mramba explaining that the execution of the project has been divided into three slots and awarded to three different contractors for smooth and timely execution.

The companies include Kalpatan Power Transmission Limited of India, Ms Bouygues Energy and Services of France as well as a consortium of Energoinvest and EMS of Yugoslavia and India.

He said: “I hereby urge contractors to ensure they complete the project on time, we will not tolerate delays.”

Mramba continued: “Any contractor who will fail to complete the project on time will never be awarded any other contract by TANESCO.”

The project, which is anticipated for completion within 24 months, is said to be funded jointly by the government of Tanzania, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Cleaner surplus power

According to Mramba, the 400kV transmission line will have a capacity to transfer up to 2,000MW in either direction, media reported.

“This project will improve supply, reliability and affordability of electricity in the eastern African region through cross border exchanges of cheaper and cleaner surplus power from neighbouring countries.

“It will promote power trade at regional level and contribute to Eastern Africa’s socio-economic transformation and help to improve power supply in Tanzania from short and medium terms with imports from Ethiopia,” he explained

It is reported that out of the total funding, $258.82 million will be used on the Tanzanian side while the remaining $50.45 million will be spent on the Kenyan side.