IPPs eye selling power directly, ending Kenya Power monopoly

Kenya Power workers carry out repair works along Haile Selassie Road, Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Independent power producers (IPPs) have petitioned Parliament to be allowed to directly distribute electricity to the end consumer and break Kenya Power's monopoly.

The IPPs have also asked for a review of Kenya Power's operational efficiencies to ensure a reduction in power theft.

The Electricity Sector Association of Kenya (ESAK) told lawmakers to enact reforms that will encourage more competition in the generation, transmission and support services in power generation.

They want Kenya Power monopoly opened to competition, warning the country risks power rationing within the next three years if the IPPs are not licensed to generate more.

“We propose that you open the Kenya Power market to competition from local independent power producers. This House passed the Energy Act, 2019 which provides for competition,” George Aluru, the ESAK chairperson, told the Senate Committee on Energy.

“There are 29 regulations lying at the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) that need to be passed by Parliament to open up the power generation market and competition in power transmission.”

The association appeared before the committee which is conducting a public inquiry into the high cost of electricity. The committee has so far grilled 11 independent power producers, including KenGen, over the skyrocketing cost of electricity.

The committee chaired by Wahome Wamatinga is seeking to establish why the IPPs are selling electricity to Kenya Power at inflated prices hence the high-power prices.

Kenya Power’s power purchase agreements remain controversial amid concern the firm has signed contracts committing it to take more electricity than it can sell.

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