Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project

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The Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project in Kenya is now expected to be completed in December 2023 after missing the December 2022 deadline. This is according to the project’s implementation progress and results report shared by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Reportedly the project has been delayed due to the lack of counterpart financing that will mostly go to compensate and resettle Project Affected Persons (PAPs). The deficit according to KETRACO is about KES 64,719,487.62. The financing is set to be released in time to complete the project by 31 December 2023. This came to light following a follow-up with KETRACO, the Ministry of Energy, and the National Treasury and Planning.

As far as the progress of the project is concerned, out of the 96 km section in Kenya, approximately 68% had been strung by 31 December 2022.

Reported earlier

March 2016

Construction of Kenya-Tanzania electricity line to Begin May

The construction of the 510-kilometer Kenya-Tanzania electricity transmission line is expected to commence in May, this is according to Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Acting CEO Fernandes Barasa.

“The funding for the project has already been secured and actual construction is expected to begin in May this year and be completed after 24 months from the day of commencement,” Barasa explained during the launch of the Energy Journalism Excellence Awards (EJEA).

Funding comes from the African Development Bank which contributed US$ 50m and will cater for the construction of Kenya’s portion which is constituted of nearly 96 kilometers. However, the process of selecting the contractor for the Kenyan side will be completed in a few weeks to come.

Once the interconnector is complete, Kenya and Tanzania will enjoy power trade and if either country has excess power it will be able to sell some to its neighbors.

In 2013, Kenya launched an impactful program that is anticipated to add 5,000 Megawatts to the national grid in 40 months’ time while Tanzania has made some discoveries of natural gas that can be used for generating electricity.

The transmission line will link Kenya to the East Africa Power Pool via a 510-kilometer 400kV transmission line constructed from Suswa in Naivasha. It will further be connected to the Ethiopia-Kenya transmission system through the Isinya-Suswa 400kV line, which is part of the Eastern Africa Electricity Highway.

It has a transfer capacity of 2,000MW which will create a major link for power transfer between the Eastern Africa Power Pool and countries in the north such as Egypt and Sudan. The project will also go a long way in ensuring that 70 percent of Kenyan households are connected to electricity by 2017 ahead of the target of universal access by 2020.

Reported in February 2019

Kenya Tanzania interconnection to connect to Southern Africa Power Pool

The Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is set to connect Kenya and Tanzania power to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) through a 400kV transmission line.

Emmanuel Manirabona, TANESCO’s Senior Manager of Projects confirmed the reports and said the interconnection will begin with Isinya station to Arusha. From Arusha, the line will connect with Singida through Babati.

The project financed under a US $259m loan from African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will run on a 510km transmission line with five substations.

“The Kenyan transmission line will also extend its line to Ethiopia while the Tanzania transmission line will extend its line to Zambia connecting East Africa to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). Tanzania can now sell or buy electricity from any country connected to the transmission line,” said Mr. Manirabona.

The Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project

The Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project which is scheduled for operation in 2020, will enable the two East African countries to exchange electricity easily, with the reduced operational cost of energy production. Modern sub-stations will also be constructed to ensure the effectiveness of power transmission between the two countries.

In 2016, Tanzania through its Power System Master Plan (PSMP) suggested interconnection projects such as the Kenyan plan that is currently under implementation. The Zambia-Tanzania project was also under consideration and would be implemented in 2019 and begin operation in 2020.

Meanwhile, another line under consideration is the 200MW Uganda-Tanzania line. The Uganda-Tanzania line will run from Masaka to Mwanza an interconnection with Mozambique.

Another inter-connection will be Tanzania–Rwanda and Burundi interconnection through a 63MW hydropower plant project and the Tanzania and Malawi 340MW hydropower plant project that would enable the national power grids of the two countries to be connected in 2021.

Both Tanzania and Kenya will be able to displace high-cost thermal energy production with cheaper hydropower, hence reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Reported in February 2019

Construction of the Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project has commenced which will see a 510 KM 400 kv transmission line constructed from Singida to Isinya with various substations in between.

The project is financed by loans from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and Africa Development Bank which will see US $258.82m pumped into the project implemented by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

Kenya-Tanzania power interconnection

Contractors have divided the project into several phases with Tanzania committing to construct the 510 KM double-circuit, overhead transmission from Singida through Bahati, Namanga, Arusha, and finally Isinya in Kenya.

Tanesco senior manager Emmanuel Manirabona says phase one of the project will be from Singida to Bahati and will be constructed by Indian firm Kalpataru Power while in phase two 400kv transmission line from Bahati to Arusha will be constructed by Bouygues Energies & Services of France as they chase the 2020 completion deadline of the project.

On the other part, Kenya will construct transmission lines to Ethiopia while Tanzania extends to Zambia as they seek to connect the entire East African countries to facilitate easy buying and selling of electricity.

Reduced operational and production costs

The two countries will enjoy reduced operational and production costs as the construction of 5 modern sub-stations will ensure the smooth sharing of power and also replace over-dependence on thermal energy with hydropower.

In addition, Tanzania is also considering a 200 kv transmission line linking Uganda – Tanzania from Masaka to Mwanza with power grids in Malawi, Burundi, Mozambique, and Rwanda, according to Tanesco’s Emmanuel Manirabona.

Kenya – Tanzania interconnection is also part of a plan to promote regional power trade by linking many countries as possible to facilitate the easy selling of surplus power to connected countries.

“This is a win-win project for both Kenya and Tanzania we will witness more strong business ties between ourselves as we aim to bring on board our neighboring countries too,” said Mr. Manirabona. Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) is working closely with Tanesco in undertaking this project.

Sep 2022

Kenya Tanzania power grid interconnection Project to be completed by end of the year

The Kenya-Tanzania power grid interconnection Project will be completed by end of the year according to reports. The project will allow Kenya to be connected to the Southern Africa Power Pool.

On the Kenya side, the Power line will be 93 kilometers long. The interconnection will allow for the trade in surplus power between countries culminating hopefully in lower costs to consumers. Another connection to Ethiopia is also slated for completion this year according to reports.