ZAMBIA, Tanzania and Kenya have signed the Memorandum of Understanding which will kick start the long-awaited Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya (ZTK) power interconnector project.
And the Sino Hydro Limited ,a Chinese Company engaged in project contracting, electricity investment, operation and equipment manufacturing and leasing, expressed readiness to finance and handle the project.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone on Monday, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said the MoU would pave way for the establishment of the electricity interconnector that would create a platform for importation and exportation of power among the three countries.
Yaluma said that as envisaged the project would promote electricity trade, enhance security of electricity supply and foster regional integration.
He said the project would stimulate investment in power generation to meet the increased demand from the large market that would be created by interconnecting of the two sub-regions.
“I wish to reaffirm the commitment of the Zambian government to the realization of the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya power interconnector project which will link Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) to the Southern Africa Power Pool. The project as envisaged will promote electricity trade, enhance security of electricity supply and foster regional integration,” he said.
“Further, the project will stimulate investment in power generation to meet the increased demand from the large market that will be created by interconnecting of the two sub-regions. Over the last few years, the three countries have been working to implement the project,” said Mr Yaluma.
The minister said the three countries could not fully realize the project in the absence of financial support from the development partners and other financial institutions.
He appealed to development partners to support the project by providing the required financial support.
He said so far assistance had been received from the European Union, Norwegian Fund, KFW, World Bank, African Development Bank, China Development Bank and others.
And Sino Hydro Limited expressed readiness to finance and handle the project.
Sino Hydro representative Young Dong said during the signing ceremony that his company was ready to fianance and handle the project and that the company was also ready to provide solution and support to the project.
Speaking at the same event, Tanzanian Minister of Energy and Minerals Professor Sospter Muhango said to move the project further, individual countries had agreed to build power lines across their countries to connect to the borders linking the three countries.
Prof Muhango said Africa had a serious power deficit and that 50 percent of the population on the continent had no access to electricity. He said that by the year 2030, Africa should join the sustainable development of access to electricity.
Kenyan Minister for Energy and Petroleum Davis Chirchir said there was urgent need to interconnect power supply among the three countries.
Mr Chirchir said that it was a great commitment for the three countries to meet and make the interconnector project become a reality.