The Kenya and Ethiopia power line is expected to reduce cost of power by $0.07 (Sh7.25) per Kilowatt hour from September 2018.
The 500 kilovolt transmission line, that was started last month, will cover 1,200 kilometers and will facilitate regional power trade.
Running from Wolayta-Sodo substation in Ethiopia crossing border through Kenya’s Moyale County, the line will deliver power to Suswa substation near Naivasha town.
Kenyan part of the transmission line is approximately 620 km and is valued at Sh40.3 billion.
It is divided in lots of about 200 km that include Suswa to Oldo Nyiro, Oldo Nyiro to Log Logo, and Log Logo to Kenya-Ethiopia border.
The first steel tower at Elboro on Kenya’s side in Moyale built by KEC International Ltd is linked to a high mast structure put up on Ethiopia’s border by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology.
According to Kenyas project consultant ELC Italy, CET has began stringing of cables on the Ethiopian side on July 20,2017 and stretch of 40 kilometers from Logo logo in Kenya.
Eastern electricity highway project comprises of lot 1 that has an inverter substation at Wolayta-Sodo and Suswa.
CET which is building lot 2 and 3 covering 457 kilometres in Ethiopia is stringing cables from the border.
KEC is building lot 4 of the project covering 195 kilometres from Elboro on in Moyale county to Logologo in Marsabit county.
Larsen and Toubro Ltd is undertaking lot 5 of 201 kilometres from Logologo to Kinamba in Oldonyiro.
Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd is building lot 6 of 237 km from Kinamba to Suswa.
According to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, the construction which began last month is funded by the World Bank and African Development Bank and is expected to end in September 2018.
The transmission facility will have capacity to transfer 2,000 megawatts of power on completion.
“The facility will initially supply 400MW, depending on the need, it will later be increased to 2000 MW that will facilitate power trade to other countries in the region” KETRACO’s Project manager John Githinji said.
Other new cross border lines are linked to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia among others.
“This connection is expected to boost the Kenyan economy by introducing cheaper and more reliable power and attract more investment in line with Vision 2030” KETRACO Managing Director Fernandes Barasa said.
The Ethiopia-Kenya hydro-powered interconnector will also reduce the carbon foot print related to use of diesel powered generators and will further open up areas not linked to the national grid.