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Cost of electricity to come down

NAIROBI, May 15 – The cost of electricity in the long term is expected to come down if plans to increase power generation capacity in the country succeed.

Kenya power and Lighting (KPLC) General Manager Don Priestman said the company intends to increase capacity by 8,883 megawatts(MW) by 2013 and by a further 4,140 MW by 2029.

Priestman said the new capacity would be derived from various sources including, geothermal, hydro, wind and imports.

He spoke on Thursday during a signing ceremony between his company and Mumias Sugar Company for purchase of 26 MW of electricity.

KPLC was previously purchasing only 2 MW from the sugar company.

The power firm will purchase the power at the bulk price of Sh37 per kilowatt hour, as contained in the purchase power agreement approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The additional power will help increase effective capacity, and therefore improve the reserve margin, which is now at 11 percent,” Priestman said.

He noted the additional power would be transferred to the national grid through a 30 kilometre long voltage line to be constructed from Mumias Sugar Company to Musaga power sub-station in western Kenya.

KPLC will finance the line and substations construction with a Sh345 million loan from PTA bank and Sh152 million from its own funds.

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“These works are expected to be completed later this year,” Priestman said.

Meanwhile Mumias Sugar Company Managing Director Evans Kidero said the construction of the substations will be carried out by KEC International of India.

“Mumias sugar company is currently installing a 38 MW capacity power co- generation plant, out of which 26 MW will be sold to KPLC,” he said.

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