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The project will consist of the following components:
A: Transmission Lines
This component will comprise the following:
a)Construction of a 380 km, 400 kV series-compensated double circuit HVAC line from WOLAYTA/SODO on the Ethiopian side up to a new MEGA 400 kV S/S near the Kenyan border.
b)Construction of a 686 km, ±500 KV HVDC bipolar bidirectional transmission line from MEGA substation to a new 400 kV substation at LONGONOT on the Kenyan side.
c)Construction of a 78 km, 400 kV double circuit HVAC line from Longonot to Isinya on the Kenyan side, operated initially at 220 kV.
a)Construction of 3 new 400 kV substations situated at SODO/WOLAYTA and MEGA on the Ethiopian side and LONGONOT on the Kenyan side. b)Installation, including shunt compensation, dynamic compensation and step-down transformer capacity extension of the future ISINYA S/S to accommodate the interim 220 kV and final 400 kV connections of the LONGONOT line.
c) Two 1000 MW converter stations, at Mega and Nairobi
d)Static VAR compensation equipment at starting and landing point of the interconnection line.
e)Two inter-bus transformers at each 400 kV substation (i.e. SODO/WOLAYTA, MEGA and LONGONOT)
C)Project Supervision and Management
(i)Consultancy Services for Project Supervision and Management
(ii)Consultancy Services for auditing the project accounts
(iii) Environmental Management Plan
D) Implementation of ESIA
As of April 2010, Ethiopia's exploitable hydropower potential was estimated in the range 40,000 MW in terms of installed capacity. Several power sites have been studied and a master plan showing the least cost has been developed. The Government has mobilized resources for implementing four hydroelectric projects; namely: Tekeze (300 MW), commissioned in June 2009; Gibe II (420 MW) commissioned in August 2009 and Beles (460 MW), which was commissioned in May 2010 and a smaller hydro power project Fincha Amerti Neshe (100 MW) has already commenced with financing from the Chinese Government. Additionally other generation projects such as GIBE III (1870 MW), Genale III (258 MW), Helele Werabesa (422 MW) and Chemoga Yeda (278 MW) are currently under construction and are expected to be completed in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. The planned power generation facilities are expected to result in a surplus of energy that can be exported to neighboring countries in the region.
Kenya has developed all its major hydro power resources and is currently experiencing shortages which it is addressing through the installation of thermal power plants. With the current high fuel costs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Kenya power companies to meet the demand on its system at reasonable costs. Moreover Kenya is interconnected with Uganda but the latter is equally experiencing power shortages because of lack of sufficient investment in power generation facilities. Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are to be interconnected under a project known as NELSAP that is being part financed by the AfDB together with other donors.
If the Ethiopia-Kenya Interconnection is implemented it will be possible to supply cheap hydropower from Ethiopia to all these regional countries which are currently experiencing serious power shortages and have resorted to using emergency generation. Furthermore, with the implementation of the project, Ethiopia will find it easier to raise funds and/or attract private sector to participate in power generation development due to a larger demand from the combined systems of the regional countries.
The project is also in line with Bank's policy of promoting regional integration and power trade through power system interconnections.
The realization of the interconnection would provide additional security of supply of electricity in both Ethiopia and and the regional countries because of the hydro thermal mix of the systems have different peak times. Kenya whose hydropower resources are almost fully utilized will benefit from the cheap hydro electrical energy from Ethiopia to phase out some of its old thermal plants that are expensive to run and contributing to environmental degradation by emission of gases that are detriment to environment.
Moreover Kenya is interconnected with Uganda but the latter is equally experiencing power shortages because of lack of sufficient investment in power generation facilities. Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are to be interconnected under a project known as NELSAP that is being part financed by the AfDB together with other donors. Furthermore, there are plans to interconnect the Kenya system to the Tanzania and Zambia systems thus enabling Ethiopia to access the Southern African Power Pool with all its advantages. The southern power pool presents an opportunity to Ethiopia to export electricity to the Southern African countries thus enabling Ethiopia to exploit its huge hydropower resources at low cost.
Additionally the interconnection will help Ethiopia to attract private developers on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis due to the large markets presented by the interconnection. It will thus enable the development of the huge hydro power resources in Ethiopia at a considerable low cost due to reasons of economies of scale. It should be noted that while Ethiopia has opened its power generation to the private sector, so far not many private developers have shown interest in participating in the sector due to the small market currently existing in Ethiopia. The interconnection will address this problem.
Interconnections between hydro and thermal systems also provide environmental benefits: When hydro energy replaces thermal energy in the importing country, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the thermal generation are avoided. Also, since interconnections increase the efficiency of power generation they reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operating thermal power stations. These effects could create greenhouse gas emission reduction credits that may become tradable under the Kyoto Protocol.
Finally, interconnection may stimulate economic growth and encourage economic cooperation among energy exporting and importing countries. The construction of the interconnection and of the power plants which generate the export energy result in short-term employment for construction companies and suppliers. The revenues of construction and supply companies in turn generate additional income in other sectors. In the longer term, the ongoing operation of power plants and transmission lines will secure employment for the operating staff
ABIYEHOY Girma Mekuria - RDGE1