Posted on :Friday , 27th September 2019
The power grids of East and Southern African countries will be linked in the next two to three years after concluding with various high voltage lines, making the way for regional trade, said senior Kenyan energy official.
Power shortfall and disruption are frequent across both regions and businesses often complain that poor or irregular supplies discourage investors and push up prices of local products, as many firms end up relying on costly diesel generators.
Connecting national grids would cater a bigger pool of energy resources and mean one country can tap idle supplies in another.
Joseph Njoroge, the principal secretary in the energy ministry, mentioned that high voltage lines linking Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda to Kenya were expected to be completed in at most the next three years.
“In the next two to three years, we will have interconnections with various neighbouring countries in the region,” he told an East African power conference.
“Thereafter, we will be able to come up with a composition that improves demand in terms of the region.”
The Kenya-Ethiopia link will be a 500 kilovolt (kV) line, while the lines to Uganda and Tanzania will be 400 kV. The power line to Uganda would thereafter link Rwanda and then Burundi.
Kenya had buildup generation capacity of 2,712 MW as at end 2018, against total power demand of 1,800 MW. Ethiopia’s installed capacity is about 4,300 MW.
Coming year Uganda is expected to commission 600 megawatt (MW) hydropower projects which will strengthen the country’s generation capacity to about 1,600MW.