African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved 115 million dollars, which is the third round of loans to finance the construction of the cross boarder electricity transmission line project between Ethiopia and Kenya, last week. Three months earlier, the AfDB approved the second phase of funding for the project with 348 million dollars.
The 1.26 billion dollar project is a 1,068Km high voltage transmission line with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000Mw. The project will position Ethiopia as the main powerhouse and Kenya as the main hub for power trading in the East African region; and on completion the project will promote power transfers, economic trading and regional integration, according AfDB.
The completion of the Ethio-Kenya power line will enable Ethiopia to start substantial electricity exports to Kenya. It currently exports electricity to Djibouti and Sudan. Overall, Ethiopia plans to invest over 12 billion dollars to increase its hydropower generating capacity from the current level of 2,000Mw to 10,000Mw by 2015, and then to over 40,000Mw by 2035, making the country Africa's largest power exporter.