Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya are trying to find out how much electricity a planned high voltage power line linking them will deliver to each country as they prepare to launch the $1.4 billion project by 2018, Zambia’s energy ministry said.
The interconnection is intended to enhance power trade, security of electricity supply and regional economic integration, Zambia’s energy ministry said in a notice issued on Friday inviting consultants to undertake the study.
The three countries plan to build 2,300 km of 400 kilovolt (kV) power lines and 373 km of 330 kV power lines, with each country responsible for the lines in its jurisdiction.
“The purpose of the study is to clarify expected power volumes and revenues,” the notice said.
Once completed, the project will link the Southern African Power Pool and Eastern African Power Pool thereby mitigating the power deficits that some countries may be experiencing by sharing generation resources, the notice said.
“Further, the interconnector will stimulate investment in power generation arising from the large market created,” it said.
In July, Kenya and Tanzania invited bids for the construction of a high-voltage power line connecting the two, part of efforts to meet growing demand for electricity and deepen integration of their economies.
Kenya plans additional installed capacity of 5,000 MW by 2017 from about 1,664 MW now, while neighboring Tanzania aims to double its generation capacity to 3,000 MW by 2016. Zambia generates just over 2,200 MW of electricity and its peak demand is estimated at 1,900 MW and plans to add 1,673 MW in the next year.