Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) has announced that the construction of US$ 230m high voltage direct current Kenya-Ethiopia converter substation is now set to begin.
A US$ 230m contract between KETRACO and a consortium of Siemens AG and Isolux Inginieria for the construction of the sub-station has already been signed.
The project which will be constructed in Suswa is intended to create power lines that will link Kenya to Ethiopia. It is being funded by the World Bank and is considered as an important interconnector between the two countries.
Ketraco acting Managing Director Fernandes Barasa confirmed the reports and said that the transmission line contractors are already mobilized and are expected to commence construction soon and will be completed in 2017.
“We want to make sure that by 2018, we have the inter-connector is in place,” Mr. Barasa said during the signing ceremony upon receipt of advance payment guarantees as well as the performance guarantees, the advance payment would be paid to the contractors directly to allow the project to kickoff.
The the Kenya-Ethiopia converter substation construction project will have a direct impact on the economy and shall ensure affordable access to electricity by Kenyans, industries and the local governments due to the cheap hydro-power from Ethiopia. The interconnection will also offer alternate power supply to Kenya and Ethiopia in the dry season when hydro generation is dismal.
The project has a transmission capacity of 2,000 MW in either direction and will facilitate power trade in the East Africa Power Pool. The total length of the project is 1045Km, out of which 433km will be in Ethiopia and the remaining 612km in Kenya.