Economy

Ketraco to spend Sh362bn on power lines

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Ketraco is building a 428km power line that will connect Lake Turkana Wind Power project in northern Kenya to the national grid in October. PHOTO | FILE

Kenya plans to double the coverage of electricity transmission lines in a three-year plan to be financed jointly with international institutions at a cost of Sh362 billion.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) on Thursday said that the new lines would boost power supply and cut system loses in power transmission.

The construction is expected to raise coverage of high-voltage lines to 8,300 kilometres by end of 2018, which could drive down costs.

“We aim to ensure reliable, efficient power supply and provide access to regions of the country that have for long been off-grid,” Ketraco acting managing director Fernandes Barasa said at a media briefing in Nairobi.

The government will finance the project in partnership with development partners, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Japan International Co-operation Agency, China and European Investment Bank.

Kenya’s demand for electricity hit a record high last year as companies expanded operations while more homes and schools got connected to the national power grid.

Official data shows that power consumption rose to 1,569 megawatts (MW) last October — the highest level ever — from a peak of 1,512MW the previous year.

Ketraco is building a 428km power line that will connect Lake Turkana Wind Power project in northern Kenya to the national grid in October.

The power line will transmit electricity from the 310MW wind power project to the grid at Suswa substation in Narok.

Other ongoing projects include the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi line, the Ethiopia-Kenya line and the Kenya (Lessos)-Uganda (Tororo) line.

Ketraco is in charge of building and maintaining high-voltage transmission lines of above 132 kilovolts (kV), together with their substations, while Kenya Power handles lower voltage lines.