In East Africa, demand for electricity continues to grow in relation to supply, resulting in frequent power cuts, and reliance by countries on backup generators to produce electricity at extremely high costs. However, the region has significant resources, including water sources, mainly concentrated in Ethiopia with an estimated potential of 40 GW, or geothermal, with an estimated potential of 15 GW in the Rift Valley. In this context, the integration of the East African Power Pool (EAPP) power grids would make it possible to develop these huge resources and to promote trade in electricity, while solving the problem of the electricity deficit faced in the entire region. An essential link in this network, the Kenya-Ethiopia electricity interconnection opens up the regional electricity transmission network which will include the Kenya-Tanzania, Kenya-Uganda, Uganda-Tanzania interconnections in the medium term, and, in the long term, Tanzania-Zambia to connect EAPP to the South African Power Pool (SAPP).
The project involves construction, between Kenya and Ethiopia, of an electrical interconnector consisting of a 500 kilovolt high-voltage direct current transmission line with a total length of 1,068 kilometers and converters at substations. Wolaita-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transmission capacity of up to 2,000 megawatts. It also features: a component to strengthen the Kenyan transport system, as well as a component of technical assistance and capacity building of operators on the management and maintenance of DC network.
The main economic benefits of the project give it a very high economic rate of return (ERR) estimated at 23.3%. The project will notably allow: preferential use of the most efficient and low-carbon plants, increase in the security of supply and the reliability of electric services, and reduction of greenhouse gases on the Kenyan network.
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