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Kenya Power makes U-turn with wooden poles tender

Kenya Power
Kenya Power workers transport electricity poles for rural electrification. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Electricity distributor Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC is seeking 76,657 treated wooden poles from local firms at an undisclosed cost to connect more consumers to the national grid.

The latest tender points to a U-turn from phasing out wooden poles in favour of concrete types.

This comes days after it also announced search for commercial tree farmers to supply mature logs that will be processed into electricity poles.

“The Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc invites bids from eligible tenderers for supply of treated wooden poles. Interested eligible tenderers may obtain further information from the general manager, supply chain,” Kenya Power said. This will help the firm connect more Kenyans to the national grid and replace ageing poles, offering a market to farmers who have embraced agroforestry.

Kenya put a ban on logging in February 2018 following a public outcry over diminishing water levels in the country's key rivers. The utility firm has restricted the tender to local manufactures of wooden poles with outstanding order balance of less than 50 percent of ongoing contracts with the power monopoly firm.

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“Exclusive preference shall firstly be given to citizen contractors where the amount of the tender as evaluated is below Sh500 million in respect of works, goods and services,” said Kenya Power. The poles will be supplied in four lots of 49,566 poles, 6,289 poles, 4,412 poles, 160 poles and 16,230 poles with height ranging between 10 and 18 metres. While Kenya Power did not disclose the budget for this tender, in 2013, it was paying Sh8,000 for a 10 metre pole, Sh10,000 (11 meters) and Sh12,000 (12 metres).

Among targeted areas are Nairobi, Nyeri, Meru, Embu, Thika, Kericho, Kisumu, Eldoret, Namanga, Malindi, Lamu and Garissa.

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