Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Electricity Interconnection

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The MOU for this 400 KV power interconnector was signed in Livingstone, Zambia in December 2014 by Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. NEPAD-IPPF was a key partner in moving the project forward, with a contribution of $500,000 for a Transaction Advisor to increase private sector participation and reach financial and legal close.

Project financing

The project went on to raise over $300 million for construction. It involves the construction of three 330KV transmission lines: a 700 km double circuit line from Zambia to Tanzania; reinforcement of the Tanzania transmission system by construction of a single circuit line to transfer power from Mbeya to Arusha, Kenya; and a 260 km line between Arusha and Nairobi. Scheduled for completion in several phases between 2016 and 2018, it will link the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP) to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). By doing so, power tariffs will be reduced and local communities will be able to get cheaper power, possibly below $.10 per unity.

Impact

The project is expected to reduce the use of emergency power transmitters. It will contribute to: (i) improved power supply in both countries and in the East African region in general and; (ii) reduced operation costs of energy production. The project will help both countries to replace some of the high cost thermal energy production with cheaper hydropower, hence reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Kenya has already agreed on a long-term power purchase agreement with Ethiopia.