ADB offers Keya Sh10bn to aid power import from Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 28 June 2014 (WIC) - Kenya will receive Sh10 billion from the African Development Bank to finance construction of electricity transmission infrastructure that will aid the importation of power from Ethiopia.

On Wednesday, the bank’s management recommended Kenya’s funding to the board of directors after a feasibility study on the project gave it a clean bill of health.

“The project is technically, economically and financially sustainable. Technical sustainability is ensured by use of standard, state-of-the-art technology.

“Economic and financial sustainability will be ensured by application of tariffs that fall within a range that keeps KPLC interested in buying power as an alternative to more costly, domestic fossil-fueled thermal generation,” reads a report on the project.

INTECONNECTOR

A deal reached with Ethiopia in 2011 allows Kenya to import 400 megawatts of electricity to boost local production capacity, which is below demand at just 1,700 megawatts have been built since Independence.

It is hoped that construction of an interconnector between Kenya and Ethiopia will allow the country to tap into the Eastern Africa Power Pool from where it can draw electricity from countries with surplus production and also sell in case local production exceeds demand.

According to the feasibility study, the total cost of the project is estimated at $1.26 billion, out of which $760 million relates to construction of the portion that belongs to Kenya.

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