African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the US$ 145m outstanding loan to Kenya to pave way for construction of the 508 km Tanzania-Kenya power line project.
AFDB said in a statement that the funds will see through construction of 508 km transmission line and substations, which will help transmit 2,000MW of electricity between Kenya and Tanzania (about 93 km in Kenya and 415 km in Tanzania).
The 508-km and 400-kilovolt (kV) power line is anticipated to enhance regional power connections between the two countries and boost access to cheap power, as well as spur industrial production.
“The project is expected to improve the supply, reliability and affordability of electricity in the eastern Africa region through cross-border exchanges of cheap and cleaner surplus power from neighbouring countries,” AfDB said.
The project, on which construction is planned to commence in the next 23 months, has already welcomed interested bidders.
Kenya has a vision of adding 5,000 MW on installed capacity by 2017 from its current 1,664 MW. Tanzania also has plans to double its generation capacity to 3,000 MW by 2016.
A transmission line running from Isinya to Namanga was also set for completion by December next year according to a last year’s statement by Energy Cabinet Secretary.
Southern Africa already has a series of interconnections linking countries, including South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which allows them to trade power.