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Kenya: New transmission line to replace one built on timber poles

Image Credit: tnkstocker5778©123rf.com

Kenya’s electricity transmission systems operator is increasing the country’s grid circuit length and replacing older lines built on timber poles. 

Several projects are currently being worked on as Kenya looks to improve its electricity network.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) CEO John Mativo confirmed on social media that the company is constructing a new double circuit 132kV Rabai Bamburi Kilifi line to replace the older line that was built on timber poles.

“Due to age and environmental challenges, the existing line has had numerous challenges affecting power reliability. The North Coast industries, hospitality sector and residents from Kilifi, Vipingo, Mtwapa, Shanzu to Bamburi will get more reliable supply with added capacity.”

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The new double circuit 132kV Rabai Bamburi Kilifi line is to replace the older line built on timber poles. Images: john Mativo/X

Mativo said by the end of this  financial year “we plan to have increased the grid circuit length by 6,800km since incorporation; moving the national grid from the pre-KETRACO 3.400km to 10,200km.”

Construction on the 132kV Rabai Bamburi Kilifi line. Images: john Mativo/X

Another project underway is the construction of the 94km, 132kV Isinya-Namanga Transmission Line.

KETRACO said the benefits of the project include:

  • Improving reliability and access to both domestic and industrial power in the counties of Machakos, Kajiado and especially the towns of Isinya, Kajiado, Bisil and Namanga.
  • Reinforcement of the existing distribution network will enhance reduction in technical losses, improved power quality and reliability.
Isinya-Namanga Transmission Line. Image Credit: KETRACO

Other transmission line projects

Another project expected to increase electricity supply is the construction of the 400kV Kenya-Tanzania Interconnector, which is at 93% completion.

The project aims to:

  1. Facilitate power exchange between Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, the Southern Africa Power Pool and Sudan and Egypt in the North.
  2. Enhance access to cheap electricity through the East African power pool by economic merit order dispatch.
  3. Facilitate revenue collection through wheeling charges.
  4. Offer reliability and system security through regional.

Funding to improve Kenya’s electricity infrastructure

In September, Kenya received financing from the African Development Bank and Korean Exim Bank toward the cost of the implementation of the Kenya Transmission Network Improvement Project (KTRNIP).

  • The project includes the following components:
  • Construction of HV Transmission Lines 132 and 220kV, Kabarnet to Rumuruti, Narok to Bomet and Weru to Malindi & Kilifi.
  • Construction of HV Substations 132 and 220kV, in the associated substations
  • Project Supervision and Management Consultancy services, and Technical Assistance and capacity building programme.

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Kenya: productive use of electricity needs to be encouraged

The US International Trade Administration said Kenya’s power sector has experienced steady growth over the past two decades.

“Moreover, Kenya has remarkable renewable resources as evidenced by its track record as one of the lowest cost developers of geothermal power in the world.

“Kenya has also aggressively tried to increase access to the power grid, having more than doubled electricity access from 32% in 2013 to 75% of households in 2022.” ESI

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