Kenya will sign a power purchase agreement today with Ethiopia that will kick-off a massive project that will see the country get an additional 400MW by 2016.
Speaking on Monday at Safari Park Hotel, Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi said the project will cost Sh64 billion, with Kenya constructing a 612 kilometres high voltage line and Ethiopia 443 kilometres on its side of the border.
The line will have the capacity to transmit 2000MW. “We are discussing how to transmit 400MW from Ethiopia to Kenya through high voltage line stretching 4000 kilometres. Its an expensive project that will cost us Sh64 billion,” the minister said.
He added: “We are almost through with negotiations that started in 2009. By today many issues will be completed after which we will make a comprehensive statement.” Mr Kiraitu said.
The minister said the project fits in the country’s plan to up-scale energy sources to meet the objectives of Vision 2030, a blueprint meant to turn Kenya into a medium income economy in 19 years.
He said Ethiopia was endowed with huge hydro power sources that the region would tap from to support development.
Energy permanent secretary, Patrick Nyoike said the funding of the project was already secured from the World Bank, African Development Bank and French Agency for Development and implementation would start immediately the discussions with Ethiopia are completed.
“Our timetable is to have the project completed by 2016, but we could have it much earlier.” the PS said.
Ethiopia’s minister of water and energy, Mr Alemayehu Tegenu said the discussions on pending issues like power purchase will be concluded adding Kenya’s line will be important in enhancing interconnection with other African states.
He said Ethiopia was developing a 8000MW power source, and currently had 2000MW to sell to other states.
“Kenya will be important to power interconnection in the region. We are going to commit 400MW for Kenya and this could be increased in future,” he said.
Mr Tegenu said this will be second interconnection with Kenya after supplying Moyale town with electricity for some years.
The country, he added, was already selling power to Djibouti and was discussing with southern Sudan with the intention of supplying them with electricity.