28 Feb 2024

February 28, 2024 H.E. the President of the Republic of Kenya Hon. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, PhD, C.G.H. and the H.E. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, have today conducted an inspection tour of the KETRACO convertor Suswa Substation in Narok County.

Also present during the inspection was Energy CS David Chirchir and KETRACO MD, Dr. Eng. John Mativo.

The Sub-station which facilitates cross-border transfer of power between Kenya and Ethiopia is a power hub where power from different sources converge making it the biggest switchyard in the region.

The scope of this project is a bipolar 500 kV HVDC line with a power transfer capacity of 2000MW which originates from Wolayita Sodo in Ethiopia and terminate at Suswa in Kenya. The total length of the transmission lines is approximately 1045 Km, out of which approximately 433 Km is in Ethiopia and 612km in Kenya.

The project which has been undertaken by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) and Ethiopia Electric Power Company (EEP) was financed by different agencies through grants and loans.

The project cost was Kshs.75,281,650,000. Out of this, World Bank contributed Kshs.55,040,000,00, African Development Bank Kshs.10,930,800,000, Agence Francaise de Development Kshs.9,310,850,000 and the government of Kenya Kshs. 8,585,000,000.

“The principal objectives of this project are to contribute to the integration of the electricity markets of the East African Power Pool through the interconnection of the two countries power systems as well provide reliable and affordable energy from a regional base.” Said KETRACO MD, Dr. John Mativo.

He further added that the project will provide revenues to Ethiopia through the export of electricity from Ethiopia to Kenya and other neighbouring countries. The sub-station will additionally facilitate cross boarder transfer of power with Tanzania via 400Kv Isinya Substation. Tanzania plans to have an import capacity of 100MW from Ethiopia through Kenya in the next few weeks.

Since completion of the project in January 2022, the project has realized some key benefits including increased volume of power supply at lower tariff, reduced cost of electricity supply in Kenya by more than 90,000,000.00 average Bulk purchase cost and a direct support to an additional 9,000,000 customers in the country. The transmission line has further realized more than 99 per cent availability level since its commissioning.

Currently Kenya imports 3990 MWh per day from Ethiopia under the signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) capacity of 200MW. The capacity is planned to increase to 400MW by end of 2026.

The project will further allow access to considerable clean regional energy resources, reducing pollution and vulnerability to climate change, thus strengthening environmental resilience.

Sources of power for the Suswa sub-station include Olkaria 1AU 140MW (geothermal), Olkaria IV 140MW (geothermal), Olkaria II 105MW (geothermal), Lake Turkana Wind 310MW (wind), Ethiopia 200MW (hydro).