, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – The government has launched a Sh26.2 billion modernisation project that is expected to connect more Kenyan households to the electricity grid under the second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project.
Largely funded by the World Bank, the Kenya Electricity Modernisation Programme (KEMP) is expected to provide much needed capital to finance countrywide electricity connection to achieve universal access by the year 2020 at a cost of Sh16.5 billion.
KEMP will also support installation of automatic metering infrastructure for Kenya Power’s large and medium businesses as well as the introduction of the company’s ‘Live Line Maintenance’ programme to minimise power interruptions to customers during operational maintenance.
“KEMP funding will help us finalise implementation of Kenya Power’s smart metering solution for approximately 6,000 large scale customers and over 40,000 medium scale businesses which is expected to eliminate the need for regular meter reading and enhance our revenue collection,” Acting Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Henry Rotich said on Wednesday.
The World Bank has contributed Sh25.9 billion towards KEMP with counterpart funding from Kenya Power at a cost of Sh352.5million and Sh100.7 million from the Rural Electrification Authority.
Part of project entails upgrading of Kenya Power’s electricity management system known as the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) at an estimated cost Sh1 billion and to enhance flexibility of the power distribution network through a enhancement of automation programme at a cost of Sh2 billion.
The funding, Rotich said, will correspondingly enhance Kenya Power’s maintenance practices to improve quality in electricity supply at an estimated cost of Sh2.3 billion.
This will be done through ‘Live Line Maintenance’ programme intended to reduce downtime by allowing the utility’s operational staff to carry out maintenance without interruption of electricity supply to customers.
The World Bank Country Director Diarietou Gaye noted that expanding electricity access to low income households and small businesses is a key deliverable of Vision 2030 and part of the government’s push for improving economic growth with shared prosperity and also an important focus of the World Bank’s country partnership strategy for Kenya.
Previous Kenya Power initiatives supported by the World Bank include the completed Energy Sector Recovery Project and the Kenya Electricity Expansion Project which is expected to be completed in 2016.