Employers cry foul over power cuts

August 11, 2009

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 11 – The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) says the ongoing power rationing is going to further increase the cost of production of goods, putting Kenya at greater disadvantages compared to other more efficient countries in COMESA and in the world.

FKE also maintains the drastic power rationing must not be blamed solely on the lack of rain, but rather a total lack of forward planning and alternative power provision.

A statement from the Federation’s, Communications Department says most employers are buying their own transformers to avoid outages caused by Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). “This brings disruption to work, and incurring of extra costs for the use of the generators,” FKE says in a statement.

“Other industries are preparing to generate their own power utilising biogas,” adds the statement.

The Federation wants the government to encourage the use of solar power to supplement the existing power supply by giving incentives to importers. “The government should zero rate all other energy alternatives and accessories like solar panels, generators,” the statement suggests.

FKE is also challenging KPLC to better organise the power rationing program implemented around the country on August 6.

The employers’ federation says adherence to rationing schedule is crucial for planning. Citing Parklands area, the statement says it appears to be falling under two zones according to the KPLC schedule which means they will be experiencing power rationing four times a week.  “Kindly advice on which days this area will experience rationing,” it goes on to urge.

There have been numerous unplanned power supply interruptions in the Central Business District says FKE which is adversely affecting employers’ operations. “Power rationing in the Central Business District should not be applicable,” suggests the statement.

The federation also appealed to the power company to communicate regularly in situations where power supply interruption is anticipated, including the expected duration.

But at the same time KPLC maintains the revised power supply management program that entails interrupting power for three days in a week in Nairobi Region was working well and would continue until a long term solution was found.

In a statement KPLC said it will review the power availability situation on a day-to-day basis and any relief provided by additional power from new thermal stations currently under commissioning.

The power company also seeks to get additional power from Mumias Sugar Cogeneration plant once it re-starts operations in the next few days and the power would be added to the national grid and passed on to consumers.

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