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Sh1.4b to improve voltage profiles

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is investing Sh1.4 billion in a reactive power project to improve voltage profiles in Nairobi City and environs.

This is welcome news for manufacturers and commercial enterprises which have had to endure sagging voltages at times thereby compromising quality of power especially during evening peak time.

"The huge investment is being made in recognition that commercial and industrial enterprises required clean power to avoid machine downtime and also in order to operate profitably," said the firm\’s Chief Manager in charge Information, Technology and Telecommunications Eng. Johnson Olenchoe.

The project, scheduled for commissioning in June this year, involves installation of capacitors in the company\’s Juja, Embakasi, Ruaraka and Nairobi North substations. It is being implemented by National Contracting Company of Saudi Arabia.

Eng Olenchoe, who was representing KPLC Managing Director Eng Joseph Njoroge told members of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers that the government had also initiated the process of installing a 60 Megawatts (MW) emergency thermal power plant at Muhoroni to improve power supply in Western Kenya as well as provide voltage support for the power network in the region.

This, he explained, was after the realisation that the Western region of the country was also faced with the challenge of sagging voltages especially at this time of drought which had reduced hydro power generation at Sondu Miriu power station, which usually provides significant voltage support.

The project Eng Olenchoe will boost dwindling power generation capacity at Sondu Miriu hydropower station occasioned by prolonged poor rains in the country.

This has led to insufficient power supply for increasing customer demand in the province owing to new connections. The station currently generates 10MW instead of 60MW.

Eng. Olenchoe said Kenya Electricity Generating Company – KenGen, which is implementing the project of behalf of the government, has kicked off the process by advertising for proposals for the emergency plant. KenGen has scheduled a site visit for interested bidders later this month.

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He also said KPLC has initiated necessary works to feed in the generated power to the national grid. Follow the author

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