NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has
approved 144.9 million U.S. dollar loan to the Kenya and
Tanzania interconnected power project.
The African bank
said the Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection Project which will
allow the two countries to exchange power plays an important
role in promoting regional integration through power trade.
Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate
Change Department Alex Rugamba said the project aligns with
the pillars of the regional integration strategy papers (RISPs)
for Eastern Africa, which focus on regional infrastructure
and capacity building.
"It also fulfills the objectives of the New Partnership
for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in terms of regional
integration and promotion of infrastructure development
through regional co- operation in key productive sectors
such as energy," Rugamba said in a statement received in
He also added that the interconnection line will create
competitiveness in the energy sector and will encourage private
sector investing in the generation of electricity by
facilitating power transfer through the interconnector.
The project is expected to improve the supply, reliability
and affordability of electricity in the Eastern Africa region
through cross-border exchanges of cheap and cleaner surplus
power from neighbouring countries.
The project involves the construction of about 508 km of
transmission line between Kenya and Tanzania (about 93 km in
Kenya and 415 km in Tanzania) and associated substations in
Arusha and Singida (Tanzania).
The line will have a transfer capacity of up to 2,000 MW
in either direction.
The Ethiopia-Kenya interconnection line will allow for
the interconnection of the Eastern Africa Power Pool to the
Southern African Power Pool and further in the future to
Northern Africa through the East Africa Electricity highway.
At its initial stage, the project will allow Ethiopia and
Kenya to exchange power, followed by the import and export of
energy from the interconnected countries.
UNEP to help East Africa
tap 500 MW of geothermal in five years
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) will assist
six East Africa states to tap 500 MW of geothermal power in the
next five years.
Programme Manager for the UNEP’s African Rift Geothermal
Development Facility Meseret Zemedkun told Xinhua in Nairobi
that it has set aside 4.7 million U.S. dollars to catalyze the
growth of geothermal power in the region.
"Our role will be to assist national governments to
identify the exact location of their geothermal resources as
well mitigate risks associated with exploration," Zemedkum
said on the sidelines of the workshop on the Women
Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy Project.
The beneficiaries’ country of geothermal power will include
Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.
Kenya has so far utilized over 280 MW of geothermal power.
The rest of the nations are yet to tap into the renewable
energy power. The East Africa Rift System has an estimated
potential of 20,000 MW with Kenya alone having 7,000 MW.
Zemedkum said geothermal also has direct use application
in the agricultural and acquaculture fields, adding that
geothermal, unlike other sources of power, is indigenous and
never gets depleted.
The UNEP official said the resource has a high degree of
availability compared to other renewable sources of energy
such as hydropower and solar power.
Experts said the region’s energy poverty remains an obstacle
to economic and human development.
The program manager urged regional governments to put in
place adequate policies that will attract private sector funding
into the sector.
Kenya power records six
months pre tax profit of U.S. $70.4 million dollars
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s sole power distributor Kenya Power has
announced a profit before tax of 70.4 million U.S. dollars for
the six months ending December 2014, a 53 per cent increase
compared to a similar period in 2013.
The firm’s Managing Director Ben Chumo attributed the rise
mainly to increased sales revenue sales as a result of improved
power supply and increase connectivity buoyed by tariff increase
review last year.
"For the six months under review, the electricity revenue
grew from 294 million dollars to 410 million dollars, an
increase of 40 percent as a result of connecting more
Kenyans to the national grid," Chumo said in a statement
released in Nairobi.
He said that transmission and distribution costs also
increased from 106 million dollars to 113 million dollars as
a result of the expansion of the firm’s electricity network.
"This will enable us to improve the quality of the
service we offer our customers," he said.
The directors have proposed an interim dividend of 0.002
dollars per share.
The firm is undertaking a capacity enhancement programme in
readiness for the oncoming new power plants.
The East African nation is currently implementing an
ambitious electricity expansion that will add 5,000 Megawatts of
power to the national grid in the next 36 months.
Chumo said in order to absorb the new power, they are fast-
tracking the ongoing construction of 29 new substations in order
to enhance the transmission system.
The firm is also planning to introduce a smart metering
system in order to secure its revenue by ensuring billing
accuracy for the large power customers.
Currently, less than 35 percent of the population has access
"We are accelerating the rate of connectivity throughout
the country in order to grow our customer base," Chumo said,
adding that plans are at advanced stages to construct
alternative power lines so as to ensure there is
uninterrupted power supply in the country.
He said power purchase costs (excluding fuel and foreign
exchange costs) increased from 150 million dollars to 220
million dollars due to absorption of additional generation
capacity and increase in energy charges.
"We increased our power purchase units to 4,320 GWh from
4,093 GWh in a similar period under review," Chumo said.
He said due to the lower than expected rainfall received in
the short rain period of October to December 2014, hydro
generation was affected resulting in the use of additional power
from thermal generation.
"This saw the fuel cost, which is a pass-through
component, increased by 9.8 million dollars to 189 million
dollars for the period under review.
"However, the overall cost which would have been higher was
mitigated by increase in geothermal generation," he said.
Kenya’s electricity cost
set to stabilise with addition of 140MW
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s electricity cost is set to drop after the country’s
power producer announced plans to inaugurate the 140MW Olkaria 1
power plant, the last phase of the 280 MW of Olkaria geothermal
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) said the
addition of 140MW later this week is expected to further
stabilise the cost of electricity in the country.
"KenGen is proud to be on the lead in moving the country
towards self sufficiency of reliable and affordable and
renewable source of energy, which is also available almost
24/7," KenGen’s CEO Engineer Albert Mugo told journalists
He said the cost of electricity has reduced marginally
since the addition to the national grid of about 280MW
geothermal power as the fuel cost charge has reduced by 65
Mugo said President Uhuru Kenyatta will be joined by his
Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in presiding over the historic
event among other regional leaders.
He said following the addition to the national grid of 280 MW
geothermal power, the cost of fuel cost component, the single
biggest item on the bills, has fallen from 0.09 U.S. dollars per
kilowatt hours (kWh) in August 2014 when the first unit of the
280MW project started injecting to the national grid, to a low
of 0.03 dollars in February.
"This represents a 65 per cent drop in the fuel cost
"As a result, it has led to a decline in the overall cost
of power to consumers," he said, noting that the Mugo said
the full effect of it has already reflected in the power
The Olkaria 280MW project comprises the 140MW Olkaria IV and
the Olkaria I units 4 and 5 each with a capacity of 70MW.
The 280MW which has been running since December 2014 and
stable on the grid has helped reduce the cost of power by
displacing the expensive thermal fuel.
This, Mugo said, has also helped stabilise the country’s
power supply by reducing dependence on hydro, which is prone to
According to KenGen, geothermal power accounted for 51
per cent of electricity bought by households and businesses
in December, from 14 per cent in the same month in 2013.
Thermal sources or those powered by medium speed diesel
and heavy fuel oil accounted for 21 percent and is the third
highest source of electricity.
Currently, the company is injecting 1,575 MW to the national
grid, with geothermal for the fourth month in a row surpassing
hydro as the main source the electricity and helped avert power
shortages at a time when rains have failed for the better part
of last year and into the new year.