Construction of the 1055km Kenya-Ethiopia transmission line will start in 2013 following the securing of funds.
According to Energy Ministry PS Patrick Nyoike, work on the 1055 km 400 kV double-circuit line, which is likely to cost Sh100 billion ($1.2 billion), will begin early next year – with completion scheduled for 2016.
“We will embark on the implementation of the project early next year now that we have secured most of the financing,” Mr Nyoike told reporters in Nairobi.
Dubbed the Eastern Electricity Highway, the project will connect Ethiopia’s electricity grid to Kenya enabling the two neighbouring countries to trade power and reduce the cost of electricity while promoting sustainable power generation.
So far a total of Sh78 billion ($915 million) has been secured from the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the WB having approved Sh56 billion ($684 million) in financing for the project.
The balance will be financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia.
“The Kenya-Ethiopia transmission line will enable us (Kenya) to import 400MW from Ethiopia from 2016,” Mr Nyoike said.
Already, the two neighbours have signed a deal that will see Kenya import the electricity at a cost of 0.0084c/kWh for a period of at least 30 years.