Kenya Power to lay Ksh13b underground cables


Kenya Power to lay Ksh13b underground cables

Kenya Power is implementing a Ksh.13 billion underground power network project to improve the quality of electricity supply in Nairobi.

In a statement sent to the media, the power company said the underground cabling project is expected to reinforce the Nairobi City Centre bulk power supply system by providing alternative supply to the existing substations, which will in turn create a redundant network around the City, thereby improve flexibility of the existing system and reduce downtime.

“The project entails installation of underground cables around the City to eliminate interruptions that often result from interference with the overhead cables. This is envisaged to improve supply quality to our customers around Nairobi,” said Kenya Power’s Managing Director Dr Ben Chumo.

About 30.71 kilometers of 66kV transmission lines in underground cables connected to the new substation that will be set up at the City Centre will be installed to provide a link between the new substation and six other existing substations around the City to expand the distribution network and reduce system losses.

“The underground cabling technology is more aesthetic compared to overhead lines and less expensive in terms of land acquisition challenges and wayleaves requirement,” said Dr Chumo.

Underground cabling is part of Kenya Power’s strategy to improve the quality of power supply countrywide through refurbishment of the existing network and building of additional lines and new substations.

“This is expected to enhance flexibility in the network and enable it to adequately serve both existing and new customers that will be connected through ongoing electrification programs. Between June 2013 and September 2016, Kenya Power’s customer base increased from 2.3 million customers to 5 million, calling for adequate investment in the network to serve the growing number of customers,” read the statement.

According to the statement, in the period between June 2013 and September 2016, Kenya Power has constructed and upgraded 81 substations and built 11,718 kilometers of new medium voltage lines to expand the distribution network and improve the quality of electricity supply.

“Increased investment in the distribution network has reduced the power supply interruption incidences per 1000 from 9.2 in 2014 to 6.4 in 2016. The underground cabling project is being implemented through a concessional twenty year loan, charged 2 per cent interest with a grace period of 7 years and repayment term of 13 years, from China Exim Bank. It is expected to be completed by the end of July 2017,” further read the statement.

 

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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