Kenyan energy
minister Kiraitu
Murungi
 
Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 14 December 2011 – The government of Kenya has signed a power purchase agreement with Ethiopia that will launch a massive new project which will lead to Kenya receiving an additional 400 megawatts (MW) of energy by 2016.

Announcing this here, Kenyan energy minister Kiraitu Murungi said the project would cost US$718 million, with Kenya constructing a 612km of high voltage line and Ethiopia 443km on its side of the border.

The line will have the capacity to transmit 2,000MW. “We are discussing how to transmit 400MW from Ethiopia to Kenya through a high voltage line stretching 4,000km,” the minister said.

The minister went on to say that the project fitted the country’s plan to up-scale energy sources to meet the objectives of Vision 2030 “’ a blueprint aimed at converting Kenya into a medium income economy in 19 years. He added that Ethiopia was endowed with huge hydro power sources from which the region would tap power to support development.

Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike revealed that the funding of the project had already been secured from the World Bank, African Development Bank and French Agency for Development, and implementation would start immediately the discussions with Ethiopia were completed. “Our timetable is to have the project completed by 2016, but we could have it much earlier.” he said.

Ethiopian minister of water and energy Alemayehu Tegenu said Kenya’s line would be important in enhancing interconnection with other African states. He pointed out that Ethiopia was developing a 8,000MW power source, and currently had 2,000MW to sell to other states.

“Kenya will be important to power inter-connection in the region. We are going to commit 400MW for Kenya itself, and this could be increased in future,” he added.