Interconnecting Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries Electric Grids AfDB Approves Additional USD 32.5 million for Kenya

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Tunis, June 16, 2010 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a supplementary loan of UA 22.05 million* (USD 32.5 million) to Kenya under the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the Group.

The additional loan will finance the Kenya-Uganda transmission line and sub-station reinforcement within Kenya.  The Kenya-Uganda transmission line is part of the Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) Countries Electric Grids Interconnection Project.

The loan is the same amount that the World Bank initially planned to provide for the electricity transmission line on Kenyan territory, and supplementary equipment for the Lessos sub-station in Kenya.

On 11 November 2008, he Board of Directors approved financing of the Project for the Interconnection of electric grids of Nile Equatorial Countries, which comprise Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda.

The project involves the construction and upgrading of 769 km of 220 kV and 110 kV power lines and 17 transformer stations to interconnect the electric grids of the five Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.

The total project cost is estimated at UA 166.64 million or USD 245 million. Completion is expected in 2014. The ADF is providing 73% of the funding. The Japanese Cooperation is providing 22.5%. The remaining 4.5% is shared between the governments concerned and the Nile Basin Initiative.

The project seeks to improve the living conditions of the people, as well as the quality of the socioeconomic development environment of the regions, based on the availability of affordable electric energy and access by the communities to electricity through increased cross-border electric power trade.

The interconnection will avail an added advantage of sharing capacity reserves, the reduction of overall peak, and an economy of scale that will allow the development of big hydropower plants in the region.  In addition, the project will help reduce electricity prices in the two countries, attract investment, enhance global competitiveness and strengthen regional integration and trade.

* 1 Unit of Account (UA) = 1.47 U.S. dollars at June 2010