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TANZANIA – DR CONGO 400 kV Transmission Line Interconnector project

SP has recently signed the contract with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI, USA) under USAID funds of the East Africa Energy Program (EAEP) for the Pre-Feasibility study of the Tanzania – DRC 400kV Transmission Line Interconnector project. 

The engineering services kicked off in June 2022 with the beneficiaries of the project, the two transmission system operators TANESCO (Tanzania) and SNEL (DRC). 

The project is quite unique in continental Africa both for a very long high voltage mixed (overhead – cable lines) interconnector, and in view of the underwater crossing of Lake Tanganyika – one of the deepest lakes in the world. 

The project, which entails screening both HVAC and HVDC technologies, is crucial for the integration of the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) – Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) into a regional market. 

The scope of the engineering studies will explore two interconnection routes as part of the options towards SNEL’s Katanga: 

  • Option 1 will look at interconnecting the Sumbawanga and Katanga substations through Kala using underwater cable through Lake Tanganyika using a 400 kV HVAC or HVDC technology; 
  • Option 2 will review the second interconnection option from Sumbawanga to Katanga using an overhead transmission line through Zambia and back to the DRC