IPPs eye billions from exports to EAC power pool


Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir delivering his speech at a past event on June 15, 2023. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Independent power producers (IPPs) could sell electricity to other countries in the region after stakeholders from 13 countries worked out modalities for admitting the generators into the regional power pool.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir on Wednesday said the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) is coming up with modalities on how IPPs can effectively sell electricity across borders.

IPPs supplied 33.5 percent of the power that Kenya Power purchased in the year to June 2023, making them the second largest power suppliers in the country behind KenGen, which supplied 60.3 percent.

The remainder was imported from Ethiopia and Uganda. “Noting that such private players hold a considerable energy market share in the region, we cannot afford to leave them behind in the regional power integration programme,” said CS Chirchir.

The EAPP comprises 13 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Others are Egypt, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

If admitted, it means IPPs will be able to sell electricity to any of the 13 markets where power is needed. IPPs in Kenya only feed Kenya Power, which then distributes it to consumers across the country.

“The discussions around this will continue and we will be providing updates in the months ahead,” said Mr Chirchir.


IPPs have welcomed the move, saying that it will spread their risks by opening up a larger market, which will enable them to price power at a lower cost.

“Now, an IPP can establish with an eye to supply both Kenya Power and also the regional market. This means that whenever there is a shortfall in generation in another market, we can step in and supply them with power,” said Mr George Aluru, the chief executive of the Electricity Sector Association of Kenya (Esak) which is a lobby group for IPPs.

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