Kenya has signed a power purchase agreement with Ethiopia in a deal that will see Kenya receive 400mw of hydro-power in the next eighteen months.
Work on the 500kv power line which will be used to transmit the power is already underway with contractors on site. This emerged when Ethiopia PM Hailemariam Desalegn, the First Lady Roman Tesfaye and his delegation visited Olkaria Power plant in Naivasha as part of their tour of the country.
Addressing the press after the visit, the CS for Energy Charles Keter said the hydro-power would be used mainly on border towns. He said border towns like Sololo, Moyale and some towns in Turkana County were currently receiving power from Ethiopia.
“We have had collaboration with Ethiopia in terms of electricity connection which will see Kenya benefit from 400mw of hydro -power,” he said. The Prime Minister is leading a delegation of senior officials from Ethiopia to the Kenya-Ethiopia Business Forum. The visit to Kenya by the Ethiopian Prime Minister comes hot on the heels of a State visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to Ethiopia in March 2014.
Mr Desalegn said Kenya and Ethiopia are strategic partners and his visit will enhance bilateral economic cooperation between both countries, including trade relations.
“We are specifically keen on the energy sector where both governments have expressed desire to increase collaboration to steer economic development”, the Prime Minister said.
He showed keen interest in the investment made by Kenya in clean energy saying that “geothermal energy is clean, green and its carbon footprint on the environment is minimal”.
KenGen MD Abert Mugo hailed the PM’s tour of Olkaria, noting that energy-related projects topped the agenda of the bilateral discussions, which also dwelt on the review of progress on the ongoing LAPSSET projects, among others.
In December 2015, at a function in Moyale, Uhuru and Hailemariam witnessed the signing of a Sh20 billion deal to end conflict along their common border and spur development.
The two promised the deal would help create jobs, reduce poverty and foster trade ties.