Economy

Kenya’s power imports from Uganda rise 18pc in January on high demand

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Epra director-general Daniel Kiptoo during an interview at Nation Media Group's NTV Studio in Eldoret town on February 02, 2024. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG.

Kenya's electricity imports from Uganda increased 18.4 percent in January, fuelled by a bigger demand.

Data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) shows that Kenya last month imported 20.29 million units of power from the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited.

This is a significant increase from 17.12 million units that Kenya imported from her neighbour in December.

Read: Power imports nearly triple on biting drought

Kenya and Uganda have a power exchange programme during which either country supplies the other with power during periods of deficit.

At the close of the financial year, the country that will have exported more electricity to the other invoices its counterpart.

In January for instance, Kenya exported 3.41 million units to Uganda, and in December, it exported four million units to its neighbour, meaning that Uganda continues to enjoy a positive trade balance in this exchange.

Besides Uganda, Kenya also imports power from Ethiopia, which has been key in stabilising local supply over the past year.

In January, output from hydro went down by 6.9 percent, which Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has attributed to the management of the country’s water resources to maximise output.

According to Epra data, hydro output declined to 253.4 million units from 272.36 million units in December.

KenGen says water levels in the country’s major dams have increased this month, which will enable the company to increase output from the source.

“When we hit maximum (water levels) is when we started stepping up hydro generation. Even now we have not hit maximum output as part of a long-term water management programme,” it said.

Power generation

Overall, power generation increased by 5.4 percent in January, signalling increased demand from customers.

Epra data shows that the country’s more than a dozen power producers generated 1.165 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity last month.

Read: Power imports triple on low hydro output

This is a significant increase from 1.105 billion kWh that was generated in December last year.

“Total units generated and purchased (G) including hydro, excluding exports in January 2024 was 1,165,321,330kWh,” said Epra director-general Daniel Kiptoo.

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