Reflecting on progress on the Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) power interconnector project since 2014, Kenya demonstrates readiness so far.
According to the East African Business, the Kenya section is fully financed and already under construction, while Zambia requires $160 million for the uncommitted parts.
The 2,300km ZTK power interconnector seeks to interconnect the three countries and create a link between the Southern African Power Pool and the East African Power Pool, making it possible to transmit power from the Cape to Cairo. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank have expressed interest to finance the Zambian section. Tanzania is also in discussion with the World Bank and the French Development Bank for $425 million financing for the remaining parts.
The project involves the construction of bidirectional high voltage power transmission lines and associated substations from Kabwe in Zambia through Tanzania and terminating at Isinya in Kenya.
Last week, representatives from the three countries met to present their status of implementation report and financial requirements to potential funders to complete the remaining sections. At the opening of the financiers’ conference, the Vice President of Zambia, Inonge Wina, said there could never be any meaningful development if African countries ignored investment in power generation. Wina said: “This project will stimulate and support new investment in power generation, transmission, distribution and rural electrification infrastructure.”
Financing for the ZTK power interconnector
The East African Business reported that the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund provided the initial financing of €4.4 million ($4.7 million) for the preparatory activities of the project. The $1.2 billion power interconnector is a priority project of the tripartite group comprising COMESA, East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community as well as the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the Africa Power Vision. Upon completion, the project is expected to enhance electricity trade, improve security of electricity supply and foster social-economic development and regional integration.