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Why Kenya-Ethiopia power highway is a game changer

The transmission line nearing completion to link Kenya to its northern neighbour Ethiopia for regional electricity trade comes with many firsts.

For starters, the 1,045km line (433 km in Ethiopia and 612 km in Kenya) is the longest in East and Central Africa. Construction is complete on the Ethiopia’s side, being shorter, while Kenya’s side is over 90 per cent complete and is expected to go live early next year.

 

The line, interconnecting at the Moyale common border, has the capacity to carry 2,000 megawatts of electricity in either direction, the capacity being higher than Kenya’s current maximum consumption (peak demand) of about 1,900 MW.

On Kenya’s side, it’s being built by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).

With the line, comes yet another first. It’s set to be the region’s first 500kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line.

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