Power pool plans advancing East African electricity market

Addis Ababa, July 14, 2017 (FBC) - The East African Power Pool (EAPP) seeks to ensure increased power supply, reduced production cost and efficient transmission and exchange in its bid to ultimately establish a modernized electricity market in East Africa.

Through designing and continuously updating a master plan for regional power integration, EAPP provides frameworks for its member states in their quest to advancing power production and trade, Zelalem Gebrehiwot, Technical Director at EAPP told The Ethiopian Herald.

The master plan, according to Zelalem, also helps members in drafting their national plans of power generation and export as well as transmission lines installation.

EAPP conducted a study to support the robust Ethio-Kenya Interconnector which is now under construction. It has also been engaged in the development of market rules and procedures as well as studies on regional regulation and procedures, according to him.

“With the completion of the ongoing power infrastructure projects and those in the pipeline, EAPP is evolving to be Africa’s biggest power pool in terms of connectivity, installed capacity, and geographic coverage” claimed Zelalem.

EAPP is currently mainly contributing to the completion of the Ethiopia-Kenya-Tanzania interconnection, besides the Tanzania-Zambia interconnection. This would herald the realization of the North-South Power Corridor, and the interconnection of the South African Power Pool (SAPP) with EAPP.

Moreover, added Zelalem, EAPP works on similar platforms such as the Eastern Africa transmission planning partnership, EAPP interconnection code compliance programme, development of a wheeling agreement and tariff for the Ethiopia-Kenya-Tanzania transaction which are currently underway.

“Ethiopia could earn a staggering one billion US doolars per annum from power trade in the near future with its increasing production and bilateral agreements the country signed for electricity export.”

The East African region represents 39 per cent of African population and is endowed with renewable energy resources; whereas more than 200 million people in the region are without access to electricity, accounting for around 80 per cent of its population.

EAPP was established in 2005 with the signing of an Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (IGMOU) by seven Eastern Africa countries, namely: Ethiopia, Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan.

EAPP was adopted as a specialized institution to foster power system interconnectivity by the heads of states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.

Tanzania, Libya and Uganda have joined EAPP in March 2010, February 2011 and December 2012 respectively.

Posted by Amare Asrat