Kenya is expected to complete the connection of its national grid with Ethiopia’s by June this year.
Speaking during a tour to inspect various development projects in Narok County on Wednesday, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the new connection constructed at the cost of Ksh.50.6 billion will be ready for commissioning at the end of three months.
“Kenya will venture into the power trade businesses with this new regional interconnect. We view this as a critical installation to the development of the country,” he said.
The Ethiopia-Kenya Inter-connector is Kenya’s second cross-border grid link after Uganda which connects through the Olkaria-Lesos 132 Kilovolts (kV) line.
The new transmission line to Ethiopia is however the largest and features the construction of a 1045 kilometres 500kV high voltage direct current transmission line with 2000 megawatt converter substations at both ends of the line.
The project is expected to integrate power systems of five countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda under the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP) Master Plan.
The plan seeks to take advantage of excess capacity within the network and facilitate trade of electricity between member countries.
According to CS Keter, Kenya is subsequently expected to round off on power purchase discussions with Ethiopia allowing the pair to undertake alternative power purchases when the inter-connector goes live.
“When finished we should be able to connect, and this serves us both ways. We are not only getting power from Ethiopia but they can also buy,” he added.
The project has been partly financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank.