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KPLC mulls transformer manufacture

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 8 – The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), is considering the construction of a plant to manufacture transformers.

KPLC says the local manufacture and assembly of transformers in the country will help it cope with the expected surge in energy demand.

The company has advertised for consultants to carry out a feasibility study for the manufacture and assembly of distribution transformers.

The government has an ambitious plan to speed up access to electricity to rural areas by 20 percent this year and 40 percent by 2020.

"There is therefore need to investigate if the overall economy and the entire East African region can support the establishment of a transformer manufacturing and assembly plant in Kenya," KPLC said in a statement.

Kenya\’s energy demand is estimated to be growing at eight percent per year.

The Ministry of Energy estimates that only 29 percent of the Kenyan population is connected to electricity.

Poor power distribution and quality of transmission lines has been faulted with regular blackouts, which averages 600 a month. Business leaders have blamed the power outages for stunting economic growth.

It is not yet clear how much KPLC plans to spend in constructing the plant. The power distributor could however use part of the Sh9.5 billion raised from its rights issue to fund the construction.

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The consultants will be required to recommend the ownership structure and capital cost requirements for construction of such a plant.

According to the statement, their study will be required to identify the capital cost requirements, propose the main business activities of the plant and draw up its projected revenue base, profit and loss account and balance sheet.

The study should also highlight the economic benefits it would bring to the country.

Consultants will be expected to establish the available sources of raw materials and semi-manufactured materials and the manpower requirements of the plant.

Expression of interest must be submitted to KPLC by March 8.

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