The East African Community (EAC) has revealed its future interconnection power projects which will increase access to modern energy services and reduce costs of doing business in the region.
During the recently concluded EAC investment conference, the Managing Director of Kenya Investment Authority, Susan Kikwai, said that 81 per cent of the total population in the region has no access to modern energy services. She said that the EAC has planned projects that will see these statistics reduce to 50 per cent by 2015.
The projects include: the 330KV interconnection between Tanzania and Kenya from Arusha to Nairobi and Rusumo falls project interconnecting Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.
Rwanda and Burundi are also planning a 132KV interconnection, in addition to a 220KV line connecting Rusumo to Kyaka in Uganda; while Kenya and Uganda plan a 220KV project estimated to cost $94 million.
Drumming up investors to take up these opportunities, Kikwai said: “More investments in the sector are required to increase income opportunities by improving productivity, creating employment, as well as reducing the cost of doing business.”
Currently 30 per cent of the households in East Africa use liquefied petroleum gas, while 40 per cent of urban and 5 per cent of rural households have access to electricity.
Only 5 per cent of schools, clinics and hospitals in rural areas have access to grid electricity.
Kikwai said that EAC is strategising on scaling up access to modern energy through policy harmonisation, regional capacity building of key institutions and investment formulation-fund mobilisation.
She, however, said that the sector is still challenged by low level of technology and low financial resource base for both public and private investments, which affects the exploration and production of the sector.