(Zambia–Tanzania–Kenya) ZTK power project

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The (Zambia–Tanzania–Kenya) ZTK power project is an ongoing regional power corridor and electricity generation development for the East African Power Pool. It involves the construction of bidirectional high-voltage power transmission lines spanning over 2,300km which will interconnect the three countries upon completion.

The ZTK power project was split into two sections which include the TAZA (Tanzania–Zambia Transmission Interconnection Project) and Kenya–Tanzania Power Interconnector Project (KTPIP). The project’s total cost is about $1.2 billion and the cost of the remaining sections is estimated at $307 million.

Thus far, Zambia has already built the first 400km 330 kv line from Pensulo to Kasama. In addition, substations were also expanded and commissioned in 2015.

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Construction will now focus on the TAZA portion of the ZTK power project which is expected to be completed by January 2025. It will involve building a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) 400 kV transmission line (T-line) spanning 507.5 km. However, 414.4 km of the line will be located in Tanzania, while the remaining 93.1 km will be in Kenya.

A 400 kV substation will be built in Arusha city of Tanzania. Additionally, the project also covers the extension of an existing Singida substation. But there won’t be any construction work related to substations in Kenya.

Reported in Sep 2015

Construction of Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya power interconnector in Progress

Construction work has begun on different sections of the sites identified for power lines for the Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya power interconnectors.

In a recent meeting of energy held in Arusha, Tanzania, for permanent secretaries, senior officials, and experts from Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya, it was indicated that outstanding progress had been made on the interconnector. Power Pylons, Substations, and cabling had already been constructed.

Upon completion of the construction of the Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya power interconnector, it would have a long-term objective of providing opportunities for power trade in the region. This will also help facilitate the creation of a Pan- African power market from Cape Town in South Africa, Cairo in Egypt through to Tripoli in Libya.

Financing of the project comes under the 10th European Development Fund through an implementation agreement signed in 2011 between COMESA and Zambia’s Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development.

The money for the project has aided the three countries to hold their ministerial, project steering committee, and official meetings. The agreement also provides a legal mandate to the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development through the Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPPI) to implement the grant agreement.

The Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya (ZTK) power interconnectors will be developed, owned, and managed by the three countries in their relevant geographical boundaries.

Reported in 2018

Construction of Phase I of regional power pool project set for completion

The construction of the Kenya and Ethiopia electricity transmission interconnector is expected to be completed next year, concluding the first phase of the region’s power pool project. According to Kenya’s Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, the 1,045 km line is three-quarters complete on the Kenyan side and 90% complete on the Ethiopian side.

“We estimate that the entire project will be complete mid-next year and will help improve the electricity trade in the East African region,” said Mr. Njoroge.

The 500kv Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector, funded by the African Development Bank is a high-voltage direct current line, with more than 600 km of it on the Kenyan side and 430 km on the Ethiopian side.

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“We expected that the line will be able to evacuate 400 MW of power from Ethiopia to Kenya but we have reopened negotiations on the capacity in line with the increasing electricity demand in Kenya,” said Mr. Njoroge.

EA power pool

The East African power pool was developed in 2005. The project seeks to connect the national electricity grids of more than 10 regional countries, to ensure energy flows from countries with a surplus to those facing a deficit.

A month ago, the World Bank gave Tanzania more than US $450 m for a similar project that will connect the country to Zambia and South Africa, under the regional power pool project.

The World Bank said that the credit will finance the construction of critical high-voltage transmission infrastructure that will support the electrification of the southern and northwestern regions of Tanzania.

The loan will go into funding the Tanzania-Zambia Transmission Interconnector Project, which is expected to increase power transmission capacity to the country’s southern regions, and a further US $10 m grant will go towards the Eastern Africa Power Pool for regional power trade.

These projects are being implemented under the regional Transmission Corridor Development project that will see Tanzania link the East Africa Power Pool to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

“The interconnection with the Southern Africa Power Pool will enable Tanzania to be part of a large competitive power market and cost-effectively meet energy security needs,” the World Bank said.

“The ability to engage in short-term trade, either bilateral or through existing market mechanisms in SAPP, will enable Tanzania to diversify its energy mix, eliminate the need for expensive emergency power during supply shocks, and improve conditions for the development of scale-efficient generation infrastructure selling to regional power markets.” World Bank added.

The II phases

The project has been divided into two phases, with the first entailing a 620 km-400kV double circuit transmission line extending the Tanzanian transmission backbone from Iringa to the border with Zambia.

The second phase, in Zambia, will include a second circuit along the 330kV central backbone between Pensulo and Kasama and a double circuit line from Kasama to Nakonde, near the Tanzania border and further to the border to interconnect with Tanzania.

In 2012, regional countries began the Eastern Africa Integration Programme whose main aim was to connect the power grids of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda in three phases. The first phase of the program, connecting Ethiopia and Kenya, is under implementation.

The (Tanzania-Zambia) TAZA Project is part of the second phase, with the other part the Kenya-Tanzania transmission line under construction, enabling the connection of the EAPP power system to the SAPP.

Reported in 2020

Tanzania-Zambia (Taza) power interconnection project

The actual execution of the Tanzania-Zambia (Taza) power interconnection project is set to begin in January next year. This was revealed recently by the Coordinator of the project Mr. Elias Makunga while addressing the Tanzania Energy Minister January Makamba.

Mr. Makunga further revealed that the Sh1.4 trillion project, which involves the construction of a 400-kilowatt electricity transmission infrastructure between the two countries, will be concluded in January 2025. Four new power stations will also be constructed as part of the project.

The government is expected to hire contractors for the project in December. Currently, there are 24 bidders. Mr. Makamba was informed recently on his visit to Taza Tanduma Town, Songwe region, by Mr. Makunga, who works the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco).

The Tanzania-Zambia Project funding

The World Bank (WB), the French Development Agency, the European Union, and the Tanzanian government, according to Mr. Makunga, are providing funds for the construction.

Eight parts make up the project. According to him, four of them are for transmitting power and the remaining four are for constructing power cooling stations. The Tanzania-Zambia Project, according to the minister, aims to exchange and sell electricity between countries. He stated that Tanzania stands to benefit from trading with South Africa or Botswana.

The Taza center, according to Eng. Narowil Sabaya, the Tanesco Manager for the Songwe region, will free the region’s residents from the shackles of unreliable electricity. He claimed it would help Songwe obtain large volumes of electricity, which would facilitate business activities for industrialists and investors.

Reported earlier

Dec 2020

Preparatory work for the Tanzania-Zambia power interconnection project begins

The preparatory work for the Tanzania-Zambia (TAZA) power interconnection project has begun in Tanzania ahead of the actual construction works that are expected to commence next year. This is according to Tito Mwinuka, the managing director for Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

In a statement, Mwinuka noted that the preparatory work includes obtaining consultancy services to support planning, coordination, and control of procurement from the project’s start to its completion. The MD emphasized that they aim to develop a Gender Action Plan for the TAZA project based on the draft developed by Tanesco to target an increased number of females as part of the recruitment, leadership, and mentorship program designed under the project.

The scope of the project in Tanzania

The Tanzania-Zambia power interconnection project in Tanzania consists of the installation of over 620 kilometers of a 400 kV double circuit line. This line will link the regions of Iringa and Sumbawanga to connect the north-western electricity grid of the East African country to that of Zambia in the Southern African region.

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It also includes the improvement of Tanesco’s transmission system in readiness for interconnection and corporate commercial management to meet regional energy requirements. Other components of the initiative consist of operational support services, frequency synchronization, tie-line control, protection, metering, and other technical works.

Expectations for the entire TAZA project

The overall objective of the TAZA project is to allow for regional power trade between the Southern African Power Pool and the nascent Eastern Africa Power Pool and increase power supply to underserved areas in both countries.

The interconnector is the final segment of the Ethiopia-Kenya-Tanzania-Zambia regional transmission corridor that is being developed in phases. Upon completion, it is expected to increase power transmission capacity to Tanzania’s southern regions of Lindi, Mtwara, Mbeya, Iringa, Ruvuma, and neighboring Katavi.