The government of Tanzania has plans to sign a Power Purchase Agreement with Ethiopia, Tanzania Electric Supply Company Managing Director, Felchesmi Mramba has announced.
Mr Mramba said that the 400MW power purchase agreement with Ethiopia will commence official signing preceded by a meeting in Arusha of 10 member states of the Eastern Africa Power Pool.
The Eastern Africa Power Pool countries include, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The Eastern Africa Power Pool has attained a new development,” said Mramba. “As Tanzania works on the final details before signing the power transmission agreement with Ethiopia,” he added.
Installation of power generation and transmission facilities will follow immediately after the agreement signing whereby not only the economic integration will be fostered but also cater for the region’s power needs for the next 25 years.
However, the Eastern Africa Power Pool project aims at enabling the East African Community (EAC) member states so as to identify sources of cheap electricity that will increased power interchanges.
Besides, Ethiopia has made major progress in hydro-power generation as well as endowed with abundant renewable energy resources. In the meantime, the country generates 6,000MW of power that is easily accessible to the neighbouring states.
Moreover, Ethiopia has been exporting electricity to its neighboring countries such as Sudan and Djibouti. Nevertheless, the transmission line to Kenya is currently under construction. Other countries who have shown interest to import energy from Ethiopia are Burundi and Rwanda.
Ethiopia is ranked one of the least developed countries in the world. With an average annual income of 120 US$ per capita, approximately 40% of its 85 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. Also the country has the lowest rates of access to modern energy services, its energy supply is primarily based on biomass given that waste and biomass are the country’s primary energy sources, followed by oil and hydropower.
On the other hand Tanzania has abundant and diverse indigenous energy resources which are yet to be fully exploited. The sources include; hydropower, natural gas, coal, uranium, wind, geothermal, solar wood fuel and other biomass fuels.
The country’s energy supply depends mainly on biomass with almost 90% of its population are not connected to the electricity grid as majority of households use wood and charcoal for cooking. Other energy sources are petroleum, which makes up 7.8% of total primary energy consumption, natural gas (2.4%), hydropower (1.2%) and coal/peat (0.3%). About 6.6% of primary energy needs to be imported, primarily from Uganda (8 MW) and Zambia (5 MW)