Historic 400kv transmission line between Kenya and Tanzania nearing commissioning

  • Kenya is near final completion of the construction of its portion of the 400 kv, USD 309.26 million transmission line that will link the country to Tanzania paving the way for the import and export and export of electricity between the two countries and beyond.

Earlier this week Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said Kenya was installing meters along the transmission line ahead of the commissioning by December.

The project involves the construction of a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) 400 kV transmission line (T-line) with a total length of 507.5 km, of which about 414.4 km are in Tanzania and 93.1 km in Kenya. In Tanzania, the project includes the construction of a 400 kV substation in Arusha and the extension of the existing Singida substation. In Kenya, the project does not involve any works related to substations. Indeed, the substation outgoing bay in Isinya is part of the existing Nairobi Reinforcement project which is currently under construction. Link to the full project description HERE

The proposed interconnection line, to be connected to the Ethiopia- Kenya transmission system through the Isinya – Suswa 400 kV line, is part of the Eastern Africa Electricity Highway, with a transfer capacity of 2000 MW.

Map indicating the new transmission line (in purple). Image credit: AfDB

Ethiopia started to generate electricity from its 6450MW Grand Renaissance hydro project in early 2022. Read more

Tanzania itself is in advanced construction of its own 2115MW hydro dam. Read more

“The 400 kv (kilovolt) line is finished and we should commission the line before the end of the year and this will allow the two countries to share excess power,” Mr Chirchir said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

“Between now and September, we are installing meters since stringing is already over along the Isinya-Namanga section that had been delayed over wayleave compensation,” added Chirchir

Ethiopia is currently the biggest source of Kenya’s electricity imports under a 25-year, 200MW deal that started in November last year. Read more

The Kenya-Tanzania line will provide the vital link between the East African and the Southern African power pools, creating a South/West Africa mega power pool.

Mozambique will supply Malawi with 50MW power in a historic new transmission interconnection under construction between the two countries. Read more

Plans for a 400kv line between Mozambique and Tanzania are also underway. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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