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KPLC master plan to light up counties

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is currently scouting for a consultant to assist it develop a power distribution master plan that will enable it accelerate electricity access to all counties by the year 2030.

The master plan is intended to provide recommendations that will ensure that the distribution system operates at optimum efficiency levels in order to minimise loss of power.

The consultant will be expected to develop cost effective strategies that can achieve a robust distribution system, ensure adequate power distribution capacity in each of the 47 counties and maintain a reliable power supply.

Some of the key activities to be undertaken by the consultant include determining power needs for each county with respect to existing and potential commercial centres, and recommend alternative supply lines to major commercial and other areas with high demand for ease of planned and breakdown maintenance.

"The power distribution master framework will hinge on Least Cost Power Development Plan, developed by committee of experts drawn from energy sector players including KPLC, which highlights the country\’s demand forecast, and generation and transmission plans over the period," KPLC said in a statement.

Currently, the national access to electricity is estimated at 29 percent with the government aiming to increase access to 40 percent by 2020.

This will be achieved through an electricity scale up program implemented by KPLC and the Rural Electrification Authority.

KPLC has been connecting an additional 200,000 customers to the national grid every year since 2008 in support of the program.

The Kenya interconnected power system has an effective generation capacity of 1,528 MW, which is transmitted countrywide. Peak demand stands at 1,194 MW recorded in May 2011.

As at June 2010, the transmission network comprised 1,331 kilometres of 220 kilovolts (kV) lines; 2,211 kilometres of 132 kV lines; 655 kilometres of 66 kV double circuit line. The distribution line comprises of 25,485 kilometres of 11 kV lines and 13,812 kilometres of 33 kV lines.

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KPLC is implementing several projects to improve power distribution to Nairobi, which include establishment of substations at various locations in the city.

The company is also in the process of procuring contractors to establish 27 additional distribution substations across the country.

In addition, the company has initiated a Sh20 billion underground cabling project in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The project involves conversion of overhead power lines to an underground system to enhance reliability and quality of power supply to customers.

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