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Siemens to build HVDC link for efficient power transmission between Ethiopia and Kenya


In a consortium with the construction company Isolux Corsan, Siemens is constructing a high-voltage direct current transmission link between Ethiopia and Kenya. The roughly 1,000 kilometers-long direct current transmission line, known as the Ethiopia-Kenya Power Systems Interconnection Project, will transmit environmentally friendly hydroelectricity from Ethiopia to Kenya. Furthermore the HVDC link will improve the exchange of energy between the two countries and optimize the use of distributed energy sources in this region.

The order was placed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (KETRACO).

The total value of the project, which is being financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, is worth approximately US-Dollar 450 million. The HVDC link is scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2018.

"The HVDC transmission link is one of the largest infrastructure measures in East Africa and is what makes it possible to expand the AC power grids from Kenya to neighbor countries like Uganda and Tanzania, a development that is urgently needed. With this HVDC link, we are proud to be able to help provide a secure energy supply for East Africa", said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens' Energy Management Division.

The bipolar system has a capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) and will connect the two converter stations located in Kenya and Ethiopia with a direct current +/-500-kilovolt overhead line. Siemens is supplying the core components for the HVDC transmission technology, such as converter valves with direct light-triggered power thyristors, converter transformers, smoothing reactors, protection and control equipment, as well as AC and DC filters.

Isolux is responsible for the construction, installation, and equipment in the converter and AC substations.

High-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC) is the solution for the low-loss transport of large amounts of electrical power over long distances. For transmission links of typically more than 600 kilometers, overhead line connections using HVDC technology are more efficient than alternating current transmission system technology.

With cable connections, the efficiency limit is approximately 80 kilometers. Compared to a comparable alternating current transmission link, an HVDC link has a much lower transmission loss. In addition, with the same trench width, an HVDC link can generally transmit 30 to 40 percent more power than an alternating current trench.

HVDC links can also limit the spread of faults between connected alternating current grids, thus preventing power failures. Siemens is a leading global supplier of innovative systems and solutions for high voltage direct current transmission.

For further information on Division Energy Management, please see

Further information on HVDC technology is available at:

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion. At the end of September 2014, the company had around 343,000 employees worldwide on a continuing basis.

Further information is available on the Internet at

Reference Number: PR2015100050EMEN

Mr. Dietrich Biester
Energy Management Division
Siemens AG

Freyeslebenstr. 1

91058 Erlangen


Tel: +49 (9131) 7-33559




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