Ethiopian Herald BY DARGIE KAHSAY
- Kenya expected to complete power interconnection with Ethiopia by next June
Ethiopia has fully completed its portion of the construction of the Ethio-Kenya power grid and is awaiting the completion of Kenya’s side for trial operation, Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) disclosed while Kenya announced to complete its portion by next June.
EEP said the Ethio-Kenya power transmission line has been fully completed as both transmission line and converter station have been made ready for the next task. EEP Communication Director Moges Mekonnen told The Ethiopian Herald that Ethiopia is now waiting for Kenya to complete its interconnection project to carry out the trial operations as soon as possible.
“ This is because Kenya must complete its power systems interconnection as the converter station is directly connected with Kenya’s interconnection line.”
According to Moges, the transmission line on Ethiopia’s side, which covers over 433 Km, was completed before a year and over 90 percent of the overall construction of the project was completed last budget year. Following the completion of main tasks, Ethiopia has been focusing on checking the planted materials and other adjustment activities, the director said, adding that the sub-station materials have been fully checked and found ready.
Since the transmission line was completed early and has been out of use for a long time, some materials need to be repaired, he said, adding:
“We are now replacing the damaged materials on the transmission line like OPC fiber, cables, and tower component which will complete within a week,”
Meanwhile, Kenya announced this week that its portion is expected to complete by June this year. Kenyan Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter said that Kenya’s side construction of the Ethio-Kenyan grid connection reaches over 90 percent and is expected to complete Grid connection with Kenya awaiting the trial operation.
Kenyan Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter said that Kenya’s side construction of the Ethio-Kenyan grid connection reaches over 90 per cent and is expected to complete by June 2021, Pumps-Africa reported.
“Kenya will venture into the power trade businesses with this new regional interconnect. We view this as a critical installation to the development of the country,” said CS Keter.
The Ethio-Kenya power-line covers 1,055km, some 433 lies in Ethiopia; interconnects at the Moyale common border and has the capacity to carry 2,000 MW of electricity in either direction. The capacity is being higher than Kenya’s current maximum consumption (peak demand) of about 1,900 MW, it added.
Kenya-Ethiopia interconnector line, also known as the Eastern Electricity Highway, is Kenya’s first direct current (DC) line having 500kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC). All the other transmission and distribution lines in the country are alternating current (AC) wires, the journal further stated.
According to the report, the EthiopiaKenya energy project will play a crucial role to integrate power systems of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. This project will enable reliable and affordable energy for the East African region and eventually to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).
The 1055 km long joint project which aimed at achieving regional power interconnection in East Africa was launched in 2013 with a total budget of USD1.26 billion, it was learned.