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Kenya to import power from Ethiopia

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – Kenya will import electricity from Ethiopia to boost the national capacity by 400 Megawatts, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi has disclosed.

The deal which is being financed by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and the French Agency for Development at a cost of Sh64 billion will be sealed later on Tuesday at the conclusion of talks between Kenya and Ethiopia being held at Safari Park Hotel.

Murungi leads the Kenyan delegation while Ethiopia’s delegation is led by the Minister of Water and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu.

Briefing the media, Murungi said once the agreement is signed, Kenya’s national grid will be connected to Ethiopia by 2016 as part of the Vision 2030 blueprint.

“We are committed to increase the national capacity in line with Vision 2030. It is a massive high cost project which once done will bring down the cost of power in the country.” he said.

“We want to promote regional trade in power by buying and selling of power across the region all the way to Zambia.”

The minister also disclosed he will meet with a delegation from South Sudan to discuss how Kenya can start importing oil from that country.

On his part, Tegenu said Ethiopia had the capacity to supply electricity in the region sourced from their hydro stations and geothermal plants. His country was in a position to increase the electricity to Kenya from the 400MW to 1,000MW in future.

His country is currently supplying Moyale town which lies on the border between the two countries.

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“There is a political will and full commitment by the two countries in the talks which are now on the final stages of conclusion. The only pending issue is finalizing the power purchase agreement,” he said.

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