NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Kenya Power has signed two financing agreements worth Sh30 billion with the Africa Development Bank and the World Bank for two additional phases of the last mile connectivity project that seeks to provide power to the unconnected.
The Africa Development Bank Phase two project will connect 314,200 new households by optimizing 5,320 transformers while the World Bank funding will help connect of 312,500 new households and add 1,000 transformers to the network.
Kenya Power Managing Director Dr. Ken Tarus says the two phases will connect over 600,000 new customers within the next 18 months adding that the utility firm aims at connecting 1.5 million customers this financial year.
“The Last Mile Connectivity Project is expected to address the high cost of extending power supply network especially in the rural and low-income areas,” says Tarus.
The Last Mile Connectivity project and other connectivity projects have added Kenya Power’s customer base by 1.4 million new customers with the total number of customers now reaching 6.1 million customers.
“The rapid growth has raised the country’s electricity connectivity access rate from 27 percent in 2013 to 70.3 percent as t 30th June 2017. The target is to achieve universal access by 2020.”
Also present during the signing of the agreement were 23 contractors who have won bids to implement the Sh15 billion AfDB and the Sh15 billion World Bank projects.
Tarus has called on the contractors to source materials such as poles, conductors and transformers locally as well as employ locals in the areas they will be putting up the infrastructure.
“This project will require nearly 400,000 poles and 1,000 transformers. We want to see these materials bought locally so that we build our industries.”