IISSUE NO. 3616 

April 19 - 24, 2013


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Power firm to spend over U.S. $1.19
billion dollars to boost supply

currently only 33 percent of the kenayn
population has access to electricity

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s sole electricity distributor, Kenya Power, said on Wednesday it plans to spend more than 1.19 billion U.S. dollars over the next five years to boost electricity supply.

Kenya Power Managing Director Joseph Njoroge told journalists in Nairobi that the funds will come from a range of financiers including the World Bank.

“In order to strengthen the existing power network as well as enhance electricity reach, Kenya power will spend over 1.19 billion dollars in the next five years,” Njoroge said.

This announcement comes in the wake of power outages that have rocked the east African nation since the commencement of heavy rains two weeks ago. “This year’s rainfall season has been more intense as it has been accompanied by strong winds,” he said. 

“Lightning strikes on our overhead networks have led to the destruction of transformers as well as underground cables resulting in prolong power interruption in various parts of the country,” he said.

Kenya power said that its response to emergency incidents has therefore being heightened. The managing director added that his firm will gradually upgrade its system as it is a capital intensive undertaking.

“We hope to spread costs over a longer period in order to ensure that power is cheap in Kenya,” he said.

Njoroge said that part of the medium term investment will be used to automate the supply transmission in order to isolate faulty sections and connect users to alternate lines.

He added that converting overhead lines to an underground network on a radius of 10 km within the capital city will cost 238 million dollars.

Kenya Power Chief Manager in charge of Distribution Benson Mureithi said that electricity is an important service that has significant on the social economic welfare of the country.

“The impact of power outage is five times more to the economy compared to Kenya Power’s revenue loss,” he said.

“In order to mitigate the negative impacts caused by lack of power, the company will fast track efforts to increase the speed of breakdown resolution,” the chief manager added.

He noted that currently only 33 percent of the population has access to electricity.

Mureithi said that other improvements on the pipeline include conversion of the current electricity lines into a smart grid.


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