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Jasper Oduor discusses the East Africa Power Pool

Posted Sep 2, 2010 | 0 | Filed under:

Jasper Oduor, the Secretary General of the East African Power Pool indicates that the master plan was first developed in 2005 has since changed. The EA community is now 5 nations vs. the initial 3. It now includes Burundi and Rwanda. The demand and supply also changed from 220KVA to a double circuit line from TZ to Kenya and has now become a 400KVA line btwn Kenya and Tanzania. Due to these changes, the EA community has since decided to revise the master plan.

So the EA Community and the EAPP are doing a combined assessment from Egypt to Tanzania except Somalia and Eritrea. The main consideration is the least cost power development. Best benefitial options was another perspective that the Nile Basin was looking at. The two considerations were put together with the East Africa Power Pool taking a 25yr horizon and the Nile Basin considering the time period beyond that. The Nile Basin master plan also considers including the whole generation in entire DRC vs. EA Power pool is to focus only on Eastern DRC. 

The importance of the master plan is that it will look at sustainability of power in the region. The energy mix will be key to extending the lives of the hydros. Some of the resources in the region include; Egypt having gas, Sudan's petroleum and hydro, Ethiopia's hydro and geothermal, Kenya's coal and geothermal, Uganda's thermal and hydro eg Bujagali and in TZ there is gas, coal and hydros and DRC's enormous hydro potential. This master plan will optimize on the least cost path. However, the environmental issues could delay implementation even of least cost developments and need to be considered upfront. The EAPP is incorporating the individual country master plans. The main challenge here was been to harmonize individual country master plans to a common regional master plan. The preparations for this regional master plan is advanced enough that in Dec 2010, there will be  final report. It will be subject to technical discussions by the EA power pool's technocrats drawn from all utilities from Lybia all the way to TZ. It will then be taken to the steering committee and then to conference of ministers. The ministers are now meeting every year to accelerate the issues of power pool.

The master plan will consider the regional grid court which is also due by end of December 2010. It requires interaction with the regulators. All stakeholders will meet in Cairo including regulators, utilities etc to discuss coordination etc. The EA power pool is concerned about the independence of the regulator.

The savings to be accrued from the establishment of the power pool are estimated at $125 Billion dollars over a 25yr period if the master plan is implemented. 

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