No power cuts over drought, assures KPLC

January 12, 2011

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 12 – The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) says it has put in place intervention measures to avert any possible power cuts.

This follows alerts from the metrological department of a possible drought that could pose a threat to hydro power generation.

KPLC Managing Director Eng Joseph Njoroge said on Wednesday that the company planned to commission two power plants producing 140 MW to be added to the national power grid to ease the load.

“The signals of drought are there. We are monitoring the situation together with other stakeholders in the energy sector and we already have mitigation plans in place,” Eng Njoroge said.

The two units are the Tana hydro-generation plant, which will produce 20MW and a thermal power plant in the coast region that is expected to produce 120MW.

Eng Njoroge also said KPLC still had 60MW of emergency power that it was planning to de-commission, but would assess the situation before doing so.

“We are trying to see whether there will be need to retain so that we spare the utilisation of the water that is available, so that again we do not subject Kenyans to high fuel cost charges,” he said.

He did however allude to the fact that power bills could go up depending on how much thermal energy will be used.

“The fuel cost charge may slowly rise as a result of overdependence on thermal but we don’t see a situation where we will switch off Kenyans or subject them to too much fuel cost charge,” Eng Njoroge said.

KPLC is also in negotiations with Orpower 4 for an additional 56MW of geothermal power as well as 300MW for wind power.

“Negotiations are almost done. All we are working on are the securities for the agreements,” he said.

He assured the public that KPLC would work towards averting power cuts and high tariffs saying: “We have learnt very many lessons in the past and we would not to repeat any mistakes that may have been made.”

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