Tanzania cuts its electricity imports from Kenya

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Tanzania has announced the cutting down of its electricity imports from Kenya by 67%; this is after other imports from Kenya to Tanzania continue to drop.

Official data has revealed that power exports to Tanzania from Kenya have dropped by 67.3 per cent translated to 170,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) in the first three months to March this year. Kenya and Tanzania have a power exchange pact at their border towns which are however not connected to the national grid.

Director of electricity at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Mr. Joseph Oketch confirmed the reports and said that Tanzania have cross border electrification arrangement in which Tanzania sells power to Kenya and vice versa.

“Kenya and Tanzania have cross border electrification arrangement in which Tanzania sells power to Kenya’s parts that are not connected to the national grid via Lunga Lunga as Kenya sells to Tanzania via Namanga, it is a small power trade and therefore it varies since there is no transmission line connecting the two countries,” said Mr. Oketch,

The data however shows that Kenya ceased importing power from Tanzania last year in 2015 as a result of the many electricity generating programs that the government is working on. In February and March this year, Tanzania has not bought any power from Kenya since they are constructing a 240 MW Kinyerezi natural gas-fired power plant that will probably be commissioned in early 2018.

Under the current vibrant leader, President John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzania has purchased only US$ 52m worth of goods from Nairobi in the year to March, down from US$ 57m in a similar period of 2015 and US$ 100m in 2012.

This news comes after Rwanda announced that it considered the Tanzanian route on the multi-million Standard Gauge Railway project.

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