Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu Transmission Line in Kenya

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On 17th June 2021, the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu Transmission Line in Kenya was energized. The process came right after its continuity, as well as soundness, was cross-checked. After which, the commissioning of the Kibos-Mamboleo double circuity 132kv, line section was carried out on 25th June. Thereafter, the two sub-stations were fully connected, enabling the flow of the 100MW of power from Olkaria to Kisumu.

The Ksh 18 billion projects was co-funded by the Government of Kenya (G0K) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). While commenting on the project, Joe Mutambu said that the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu Transmission Line Project strengthens counties within the Lake region. Furthermore, the KETRACO Board Chairman also said that the project contributes towards the government’s commitment to increasing electricity. By the year 2030, the country strives to generate up to 5,0000MW.

Olkaria–Lessos–Kisumu | 300km 400kV | U/C | SkyscraperCity Forum

Reported On 12 March 2015

Construction of a new high voltage power line in Kenya to cost US$ 93m

A new high-voltage power line will be built to link geothermal power plants in Olkaria to Kisumu. It will begin by May, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) has said, and completed in June 2017.

The power line project, which will cost about US$ 93m, aims at reducing the ongoing blackouts experienced in Western Kenya. The new line will allow the injection of more geothermal power into the grid, after the successful commissioning of 280 megawatts plants with a substation in Kibos, Kisumu, nearly 300 km from Olkaria.

Currently, the Western part of Kenya relies on Sondu Miriu hydropower which depends on rainfall, and an Aggreko plant running on the more expensive diesel. Thus the new power transmission line will reduce dependency on the two. “Geothermal is the best source of power. It is stable and very affordable,” said Mr. Kiilu.

“The new Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu project has a transmission capacity of 1,000MW while the current line is only able to transmit 75MW. Apart from supplying power to Western Kenya, it will also link up with Rwanda from the Lessos substation,” said Joel Kiilu, Managing Director of Ketraco.

The new power transmission line will run from the Olkaria II plant to Lessos in Eldoret, connecting to Tororo in Uganda via the Kenya-Uganda interconnector and further to Rwanda. It will transmit 75MW.

India’s Kalpaturi Power Transmission Company and two Chinese firms—NARI Group and Sieyuan Electric Company were chosen to construct the power line. Its full funding is by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the Kenyan Government.

Kenya has a current vision of adding 5,000MW more to the grid by 2017 from about 1,664MW in a bid to stabilize the national grid and see the dream of regional power trade become a reality.

Reported On 14 May 2019

Kenya to Construct a new geothermal transmission line

Kenya has announced plans to construct a more efficient transmission line to supply geothermal power to the western region will help the country save close to US $20m worth of electricity annually lost through leakages during transportation.

Fernandes Barasa, the Managing Director at Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) revealed the reports and said that through the 220kV/ 400kV Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu line, western parts of the country will for the first time receive geothermal electricity, a cheap, green and renewable source.

Geothermal transmission line

The high-voltage line will be 300km long. It will connect Counties in Western Kenya to geothermal power plants in Olkaria, Naivasha. Once complete, the line will save the millions lost through technical losses in the current 132kV lines that are overstretched at the moment. Mr. Fernandes further said that additional savings will be through the shutting down of the current thermal generator at Muhoroni.

The West Kenya multi-million dollar project is financed by Japan through JICA. It is due for completion by April 2020. Moreover, the construction has been split into three slots with three firms. These are  KalpataruNARI Group and Sieyuan. The firms will carry out the development works.

The first lot involves the construction of a 400 kilovolt (kV) line from Olkaria to Lessos (213km) with a capacity to carry up to 1,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Lot two runs from Lessons to Kisumu, a distance of 77km with the 220kV cable capable of carrying 400 MW of power.

The final lot involves substation extensions at Olkaria, Lessos, and Kisumu (Mamboleo). Additionally, it will feature a new switch yard at Kibos. It will be crucial to provide feeders. In addition to, offering Kisumu County alternative supply, creates redundancy, hence less downtime.