Kenya Power predicts slower grid expansion

Kenya Power’s expansion of its grid is expected to slow down in the coming months. This is because the number of people with access to electricity has reached saturation. According to the CEO the capital expenditure for this year is also expected to rise slightly.

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According to Ken Tarus the Managing Director, the utility aims is looking at connecting 1.2 million new customers to the grid by the end of June 2018. This will be added to the 6.2 million already connected at the end of June. This represents 70% of Kenya’s population of 45 million having access to electricity.

He also added that the utility will also add another 3400 kilometres of medium voltage powerlines to its grid. This is a slight step-down from 6674 km built in the previous year. Additionally the company will also build 14 new substations, 13 less than the previous year which ended in June.

According to Tarus as they get closer to universal access, the need to do the long extensions shrinks. He also adds that the East African nation’s sole power distributor will spend  US $416.87m in the financial year; a step-up compared to the previous financial year that ended in June.

The managing director also said that the funds they get go into their priority projects which include:

  • Building of new distribution lines
  • The implementation of the automation technology towards achieving what you would consider as the smart grid
  • Construction of new substations

The power utility company receives most of its funds in concessional or soft loans. These funds are  from institutions such as  European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the government and the African Development Bank. Of course the government also plays a role since it owns 50.1%

Over the years Kenya power has invested in improving and expanding its grid.

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