Kenya Power Restores Project to End Nairobi Blackouts

  • Energy CS Charles Keter (left) and Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO, Bernard Ngugi on May 6, 2021.
    Energy CS Charles Keter (left) and Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO, Bernard Ngugi on May 6, 2021.
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  • Kenya Power has restored the underground power cable that was set up to address power outages in a number of Nairobi estates.

    The cable project will provide alternative power supply feeder lines to the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), Industrial Area, and other adjacent areas including Upper Hill, Parklands, Kilimani and Lavington.

    The utility company repaired the 220kV cable that had been vandalised near Lang'ata Estate. The cables have been tampered with on a number of occasions interrupting the power supply in parts of Nairobi.

    Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, and Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO, Bernard Ngugi on May 6, inspected the affected section and expressed optimism of better power supply for residents.

    Energy CS Charles Keter, and Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO, Bernard Ngugi on My 6, 2021.
    Energy CS Charles Keter, and Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO, Bernard Ngugi on My 6, 2021.
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    The underground cables project was set up to reinforce the Nairobi City Centre bulk power supply system by providing alternative supply to the existing substations. The cable evacuates the bulk power supply from the Embakasi substation to the City Centre.

    "The project entails installation of underground cables around the city to eliminate interruptions that often result from interference with the overhead cables,” the Kenya Power CEO stated.

    In addition to the underground cabling, the power supplier also upgraded 81 substations and built 11,718km of medium voltage lines to expand its distribution network.

    "The underground cabling technology is more aesthetic compared to overhead lines and less expensive in terms of land acquisition challenges and wayleaves requirement," the company's representative noted.

    Started in 2016, the cabling project was implemented through a concessional 20-year loan, charged at 2% interest with a grace period of seven years and a repayment term of 13 years, from China Exim Bank. 

    In new developments in the power supply in Kenya, the company will see itself pay its consumers for financial losses that occur during power outages if a proposal by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) sails through. 

    EPRA, on May 1, unveiled a draft copy of the Draft Energy Regulations (Electricity Reliability, Quality of Supply and Service) which may compel Kenya Power to compensate businesses. 

    As it currently stands, the company currently compensates for injuries and damaged equipment only but doesn't indemnify business and domestic customers who incur financial losses. 

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    Kenya Power engineers carry out repairs at a power sub-station in Mombasa County in 2018
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