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Ketraco in trouble over Sh28.9bn Loiyangalani-Suswa power line costs

Fernandes Barasa
Ketraco managing director Fernandes Barasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) says it has spent Sh28.9 billion to construct the 435-kilometre Loiyangalani-Suswa transmission line, contradicting an earlier figure given last year.

Parliament, however, directed Ketraco to provide the actual amount of money so far spent on constructing the line that started in 2014 but stalled after a Spanish contractor went bankrupt.

The National Assembly’s Energy committee directed Ketraco managing director Fernandes Barasa to harmonise the figures given by the electricity company, the Treasury and the Ministry of Energy.

Ketraco said Sh28.9 billion has so far been spent, contradicting a March 2018 figure it gave to the committee of Sh30 billion.

The Treasury in earlier submissions to the committee said the line would cost Sh36 billion while the Ministry of Energy put the cost at Sh33 billion.

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“We want you to go back and reconcile the figures and come up with one agreeable number. You told us the line will cost Sh30 billion while the Treasury and the Ministry said it will cost Sh36 billion and Sh33 billion respectively,” David Gikaria, the chairman of the committee said.

Mr Barasa told MPs that Ketraco has paid Sh23.28 billion for the Loiyangalani-Suswa line and substation project.

Bankrupt

Sh5 billion remains unpaid even after the contractor completed the works in December 2018. Out of the Sh23.28 billion so far paid, Sh11.96 billion went to Isolux, the Spanish company that went bankrupt.

Ketraco awarded the transmission line contract to Isolux at a sum of Sh16.4 billion.

Isolux completed 57 percent of the works before its contract was terminated.

Nari, the contractor that took over from Isolux was paid Sh9.6 billion while local subcontractors who did the civil works pocketed Sh1.67 billion.

Siemens worked on the Loiyangalani substation and its accessories at a cost of Sh2.76 billion.

Wayleave compensation and other project costs was allocated Sh2.88 billion, bringing the total project costs as at December to 28.94 billion.

The 435-kilometre double circuit transmission line is rated at 400kV but currently operates at 220kV.

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