Tigrai Online, Sept. 20, 2012
The Board of the African Development Fund has given the nod to a $348 million funding of a $1.26 billion electricity highway project between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Due for commissioning in November 2017, the project involves the construction of a 1,068 kilometres high-voltage direct current 500 kV transmission line between the two countries.
It also includes putting up of associated converter stations at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 MW.
The project is intended to promote power trade and regional integration, contribute to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries’ social and economic development, and reduce poverty in those countries.
Last July, 2012 the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, which will connect Ethiopia’s electrical grid with Kenya’s, create power- sharing between the two countries, reduce energy costs, promote sustainable and renewable power generation. The World Bank financing to both governments−US$243 million for Ethiopia and US$441 million to Kenya−will come from the International Development Association,* the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.
Ethiopia is building mega hydroelectric dams to become the largest producer and exporter of energy in the region. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, as well as the seventh largest in the world. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will produce over 6000 MW. The reservoir will be the largest manmade lake in Africa with capacity of 63 billion cubic meters.