KETRACO has signed two contracts for the construction of the line, rated at 400 Kilovolt to evacuate geothermal energy from Olkaria in Naivasha to the Western region parts of Kenya.
Speaking during the signing ceremony on Tuesday, KETRACO Managing Director, Engineer Joel Kiilu said the project will also serve as the backbone for regional power interconnection among the countries in the region.
“I would like thank the government of Kenya and financing agencies for supporting KETRACO in implementing over 40 ongoing power transmission projects. These projects will see the country’s grid stabilize as the dream of regional power trade becomes a reality when Kenya and Rwanda receive 400MW and 200MW respectively in 2017 from Ethiopia,” Kiilu noted.
The Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu electricity transmission project shall connect to the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector which terminates at Suswa substation, via the Olkaria-Suswa project.
The line will run from Olkaria to Lessos in Eldoret, connecting to Tororo in Uganda via the Kenya Uganda interconnector and further to Rwanda.
The project shall consist of three lots, whose tenders were awarded to Kalpataru Power Transmission of India, in joint venture with Kinden Corporation of Japan for Lot 1.
NARI Group Corporation and China Construction Civil Engineering Limited Consortium in China for Lot 2 and Sieyuan Electric Co. Limited of China for Lot 3.
The project is being financed by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Kenya at a cost of approximately Sh8.14 billion.
The 400kV/220kV double circuit project is to facilitate the evacuation of clean energy from the geothermal generation plants of Olkaria to the national grid to help strengthen the link between the eastern and western parts of the grid.
This will satisfy the rapidly increasing power demand of the counties within the Western and North Rift regions by providing bulk energy transfer from the Suswa hub.
The project is estimated to last two years starting April 2015 to March 2017.