Kenya’s payments to Uganda for electricity imports more than tripled to US $35m in the first eight months of the year. This is as a result of a higher tariff and increased purchases from Kampala.
Nairobi is now feeling the impact of a higher tariffs pact the two countries inked in 2014 that puts cross border purchase of electricity at US $0.2 per kilowatt hour (kWh), up from between US $0.08 and US $0.1.
Uganda is making huge profits from the increased sale to Kenya. Kenya imported 168 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in the period compared to 47.7m units in the same eight-month window last year, marking a 252% growth, according to official data.
Kenya paid Uganda about US $10m for power sales in the first eight months of last year. The imports were necessary to serve Western Kenya as drought took a toll on Sondu Miriu hydropower station that supplies the region. At US $0.2, the Uganda power is seven times costlier than hydropower generated from local dams.
Drop in water levels
The country experienced drought last year after low rainfall during the March -June season. As a result, it drove down water levels in dams and ultimately cut hydro power.