In East Africa, German-based multinational conglomerate, Siemens, in a consortium with the construction company Isolux Corsan, has been awarded by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. to develop a 1,000km high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between Ethiopia and Kenya.
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, is scheduled for operation in Q4 of 2018.
According to Siemens, the transmission system has a capacity of 2,000MW and will link the two converter stations located in Kenya and Ethiopia with a direct current +/-500-kilovolt overhead line.
Isolux is responsible for the construction, installation, and equipment in the converter and AC substations.
Increasing power transmission
In addition, the HVDC link will strengthen the exchange of power between the two East African countries and according to the German company will optimise the use of distributed energy sources in this region.
When the distance is further than 600km, HVDC technology is used as it is energy efficient and has a much lower transmission loss, transmitting 30-40% more power than an alternating current line.
CEO of Siemens’ Energy Management Division, Jan Mrosik said in a statement: “The HVDC transmission link is one of the largest infrastructure measures in East Africa and is what makes it possible to expand the AC power grids from Kenya to neighbor countries like Uganda and Tanzania, a development that is urgently needed. With this HVDC link, we are proud to be able to help provide a secure energy supply for East Africa.”