In a bid to meet its 2020 completion deadline, the Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project has moved forward with the division of lots and the commitment of contractors on the Tanzanian side to set up a 510km 400kV transmission line and accompanying substations.
The project is being carried out by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) through a $259 million loan from the African Development Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
The construction of the double-circuit, the overhead transmission line will run from Singida to Isinya in Kenya through Babati, Arusha and Namanga in Tanzania. Kenya will extend its line to Ethiopia, while Tanzania will extend its line to Zambia, which will connect the East Africa region to the Southern African Power Pool and enable countries to buy and sell electricity directly to and from each other.
At least five substations will be built to allow for smooth power transmission between the two countries, enabling them to share electricity while reducing operational costs of energy production. The project also helps both countries replace high-cost thermal energy with cheaper hydropower, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
The Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project is part of a larger plan to establish 400kV transmission line interconnections with as many African countries as possible. When the planned Stiegler’s Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station becomes operational in Tanzania, the country can then easily sell the surplus power to connected countries.