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Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir says this is due to the injection of the 280 megawatts of geothermal power at Olkaria into the national grid/FILE

Kenya

Power costs to remain low, says Chirchir

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir says this is due to the injection of the 280 megawatts of geothermal power at Olkaria into the national grid/FILE

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir says this is due to the injection of the 280 megawatts of geothermal power at Olkaria into the national grid/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 17 – The cost of electricity in the country is not expected to increase in the next one year even with the dry weather being experienced.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir says this is due to the injection of the 280 megawatts of geothermal power at Olkaria into the national grid.

Chirchir also attributed steady supply to the stock of heavy fuel oil used in thermal generators bought in April and was not used up due to the geothermal generation.

He says thermal power accounts for 10 percent of the national generation mix down from 38 percent in August 2014, geothermal accounts for 51 percent.

“The fuel cost charge, the single major cost item on the power bills has reduced by 65 percent nearly threefold to Sh2.57 per kwh in February down from Sh7.22 per kwh in August last year,” said Chirchir.

He says this will spur the economy and is a great incentive to the ease of doing business.

He said the government is also planning to build a low voltage electricity distribution system throughout the country to reach counties with low penetration rates.

He said this will see counties with low penetration rates close enough to connect to a low-voltage line at a relatively small cost.

“The most important barrier to grid connectivity has been the high price of an electricity connection. The low voltage network will see the country introduce a flat rate power connection cost which will be much lower than what is there currently, “he added.

Chirchir was speaking during a forum for Cabinet Secretaries on the ease of doing business.

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On his part, Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said while there is more work to be done, the process of registering a business in Kenya now takes 12 days down from 32 days while it takes about 75 days to connect electricity for business premises down from 158 days.

“One of the remedies to reduce business processes has been simplifying procedures automating processes to enable small businesses obtain single permits by allowing self-declaration by applicants while eliminating the requirement for a declaration of compliance, ” he added.

Kenya improved by one position in the World Bank Doing Business Report 2015, where it ranks at position 136 out of 189 nations globally compared to the 2014 report where it ranked 137 in the ease of doing business.

READ: Kenya edges rank higher in WB doing business report

The country dropped nine places in starting a business factor from position 134 in the World Bank Doing Business 2014 report to position 143 but improved 44 places in the paying taxes category from position 146 in the previous report to position 102 in the Doing Business Report 2015 Rankings.

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