Lusaka, Monday, April 8, 2017: The final draft report of the feasibility study for the 2,300km power line connecting Zambia Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) is expected to be ready by July this year. Consultants working on the study revealed during a progress review meeting recently that most of the work has been done and a report will soon be issued in order to push the project forward.

The meeting was organized by COMESA and the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in Livingstone, Zambia on 20th and 21st April 2017 for purposes of planning and to review the status of the project.

During the meeting, updates on the progress of the ongoing feasibility and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies were presented to the delegates. They comprised representatives of Ministries of Energy and Power Utilities from Kenya and Zambia and regional power pools.

Mobilization of financing for the remainder of the project will begin once the study report is done. To this effect, a financiers’ roundtable is planned for mid-August this year to be organized by the Office for Promoting Private Power Investment in collaboration with COMESA, NEPAD and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Energy Economist at COMESA Secretariat Mr Malama Chileshe stressed the importance of the ZTK project in facilitating power trade thus making the region more competitive and ultimately deepening regional integration.

“Given that the European Union financial support to the project is scheduled to expire by the end of this year, there is need for all parties to work hard and ensure that project timelines are met and deliverables achieved before September 2017,” Mr Chilese told the delegates.

NELSAP Regional Coordinator Eng. Elicad Nyabeeya described the project as a regional highway aimed at connecting the Southern African Power Pool and the East African Power Pools.

He added:  “Existing gaps in data collection need to be fixed so that the feasibility study is completed to steer the project to financial closure.”

The ZTK interconnector is a high voltage power transmission line connecting Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. It is a COMESA-SADC-EAC Tripartite Priority project as well as a NEPAD programme under the Programme for Infrastructure, Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Africa Power Vision which have been endorsed by the African Union Heads of State and Government Assembly.

During the meeting, Zambia and Kenya also gave updates on the ongoing construction works on some of the sections of the project; the Kenya – Tanzania section was fully financed and construction works are ongoing.

On the Zambian side, construction of the 300km 330KV Kabwe – Pensulo section is expected to begin from 2018 at a cost of $132 million. The same will apply to the 200km 330KV Kasama- Nakonde section at a cost of $288 million.

Institutions represented at the meeting were the East African Power Pool, the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) and the Southern African Power Pool. Development partners in attendance were the African Development Bank (AfBD), European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Union.

Due to the importance of gender mainstreaming, EU offered to finance the component of the study for gender mainstreaming if needed.