Bid to end Kenya Power mo­nop­oly re­vived in House

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS - Neville Otuki no­­tion­ En­ergy PS says power re­tail mar­ket can­not be opened up n the next ive years JOSEPH NJOROGE

A Bill that seeks to end Kenya Power’s mo­nop­oly has been re-sub­mit­ted for de­bate in Par­lia­ment amid luke­warm sup­port by top En­ergy min­istry of­fi­cials.

The amended En­ergy Bill 2017 pro­poses the li­cens­ing of other elec­tric­ity dis­trib­u­tors and re­tail­ers out­side Kenya Power’s stran­gle­hold — promis­ing homes and busi­nesses a choice and bet­ter qual­ity of ser­vice

But En­ergy Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Joseph Njoroge yes­ter­day said the power re­tail mar­ket can­not be opened up — at least not in the next five years — for lack of a frame­work and an un­der­de­vel­oped trans­mis­sion net­work.

The min­istry reck­ons that mar­ket lib­er­al­i­sa­tion would see Kenya Power de­fault on its con­trac­tual obli­ga­tion of buy­ing spec­i­fied amounts of power from pro­duc­ers since the en­try of other play­ers would eat into its re­tail mar­ket share.

It says that com­pe­ti­tion will force the gov­ern­ment-owned power dis­trib­u­tor to pay hefty fines to pro­duc­ers such as KenGen for power not used as its de­mand base nar­rows with the ex­pected shift­ing of homes and busi­nesses to other ser­vice providers. “We must reg­u­late the re­tail mar­ket and pro­tect Kenya Power,” said Mr Njoroge, adding that mar­ket lib­er­al­i­sa­tion is only fea­si­ble upon the ex­piry

We must reg­u­late the re­tail mar­ket and pro­tect Kenya Power.”

| EN­ERGY PRIN­CI­PAL SEC­RE­TARY of Kenya Power’s long-term con­trac­tual agree­ments with pro­duc­ers. Kenya Power has power pur­chase agree­ments with pro­duc­ers of up to 25 years with some inked decades ago and due to ex­pire.

Should the mar­ket be opened up, re­tail­ers will buy power from dif­fer­ent sources and pay for us­ing the Sta­te­owned trans­mis­sion net­work to trans­port it to con­sumers.

The Bill, which was tabled in Par­lia­ment last week, aims to cre­ate room for new play­ers in a sub-sec­tor where Kenya Power op­er­ates as a mo­nop­oly.

“A re­tail li­cence au­tho­rises a per­son to sup­ply elec­tric­ity to con­sumers through a se­ries of com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing procur­ing the en­ergy from other li­censees, in­spec­tion of premises, me­ter­ing, sell­ing, billing and col­lect­ing rev­enue,” reads the Bill.

Mr Njoroge said the sec­tor can­not be com­pared with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, which the gov­ern­ment opened up at­tract­ing sev­eral play­ers and up­ping com­pe­ti­tion which low­ered con­sumer rates.

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