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Ethiopia–Kenya HVDC link to be partially ready in 2017 [free access]

May 12, 2017

The 500 kV Ethiopia–Kenya high voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission line, which is being constructed by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited (CET), is expected to be partially ready by the end of 2017. It is the first HVDC power line in East Africa and a major channel of outbound power transmission for Ethiopia.

 

As reported by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE), 433 km of the 1,045-km-long interconnector, which is in Ethiopian territory, is likely to be complete by the end of this year. It will stretch from Wolaita Sodo to the Kenya border to transport 2,000 MW from Southern Ethiopia to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP).

 

CET, who is the official constructor of the project, has already finished the construction of the high voltage transmission line stretching from an under-construction 6,450 MW dam on Blue Nile River near the Sudanese border to the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

 

Meanwhile, the exchange of electricity between the two countries is expected to start once a separate converter station project worth USD629 million, being undertaken by German firm Siemens, is completed in 2019.

 

 The interconnector entailed construction of a 1,045 km, ±500 kV HVDC bipole overhead transmission line, which will run from the Wolaita Sodo substation in Ethiopia to the Suswa substation in Kenya. The project also includes construction of two 2,000 MW, ±500 kV HVDC bipolar converter stations at Wolaita Sodo in Ethiopia and Suswa in Kenya.

 

The total cost of the project is estimated at around USD1 billion. The project is being implemented through funds extended by the African Development Bank (AfDB).