On Friday, Ethiopian Electric Power entered into an agreement with China Electric Power Equipment and Technology to develop the Eastern Africa Interconnector dubbed the Ethio-Kenya transmission line project.
Ethiopian Electric Power CEO Azeb Asnake said that the transmission line will stretch across 433km from Wolayita Sodo in Ethiopia to the Kenyan border, StarAfrica reported.
Asnake added that the 2,000MW bi-directional transfer capacity ‘Eastern Electricity Highway’ would be finalised in 26 months.
The African Development Bank will be responsible for financing the Ethiopian side of the deal.
Strengthening the East African Power Pool
In 2006, governments of Ethiopia and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of an interconnection network between the neighbouring East African countries.
Asnake added that the realisation of this project is also in the interest of other East African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
According to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO), the Ethiopian government intends to develop the country’s vast hydro capacity for domestic consumption and export where the proposed line is to act as a major highway to the southern countries such as Tanzania.
KETRACO added that the large potential for electricity trade in the Eastern Nile countries together with its socio-economic and environmental benefits will create the idea of a regional power market and enhance the East African Power Pool.
Transmission infrastructure is lacking in this region and KETRACO believes that this project will help overcome this setback and in addition, create transmission capacity needed in the cross-border trade of electricity between Ethiopia and Kenya, in the long run.