Kenya Power’s guide­lines lures global brands

The Star (Kenya) - - News - DR BEN CHUMO Dr Ben Chumo is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Kenya Power

The prag­matic de­ci­sion we took in early 2010 to buy 80 per cent of all equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als needed for elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion lo­cally is pay­ing off.

It is good to note that a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies deal­ing with man­u­fac­tur­ing of me­ters, trans­form­ers, steel struc­tures and pre­fab­ri­cated items have ex­pressed in­ter­est in set­ting up lo­cal fac­to­ries. In­deed, one man­u­fac­turer of me­ters has set up a plant. This is a clear in­di­ca­tion that our pol­icy of BuyKenya-Build-Kenya is work­ing. Three trans­former man­u­fac­tur­ers have put up fa­cil­i­ties, ac­quired or in­stalled some equip­ment, hired work­force and rented space in readi­ness to as­sem­ble the de­vices.

Pan Africa Trans­form­ers & Switchgears Ltd has part­nered with Emi­rates Trans­former & Switchgear Lim­ited and an­other Turk­ish firm on tech­nol­ogy trans­fer. M/S Yo­cean (Group) Lim­ited has a joint ven­ture with a sub­sidiary of Power China Group, a Chi­nese paras­tatal, on fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­pects. M/S Con­ti­nen­tal Trans­form­ers (EA) Lim­ited have part­nered with Con­ti­nen­tal Trans­form­ers Lim­ited, In­dia, for knowl­edge-shar­ing and tech­ni­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion. M/S Pan Africa Trans­form­ers & Switchgears Lim­ited and M/S Yo­cean (Group) Lim­ited be­gan the re­pair of KPLC trans­form­ers mid-2016, and have a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties go­ing on.

The Last Mile Con­nec­tiv­ity Project, which aims to con­nect house­holds to power at a sub­sidised rate of Sh15,000, will in­crease the de­mand for lo­cally man­u­fac­tured equip­ment such as poles, ca­bles and me­ters.

The first phase of the LMCP, funded by the Kenyan gov­ern­ment and the African De­vel­op­ment Bank to the tune of Sh13.5 bil­lion, tar­gets to con­nect 314,000 house­holds. It is ex­pected to use more than 300,000 poles (both wooded and con­crete), and close to more than 10,000,000 me­ters of ca­bles and con­duc­tors.

Sim­i­larly, phase two of the Last Mile will con­nect a sim­i­lar num­ber of house­holds. The World Bank has in­jected Sh15 bil­lion for this phase, dur­ing which an ad­di­tional 1,000 trans­form­ers will be in­stalled.

Kenya Power is un­der­tak­ing a coun­try­wide up­grade of its ex­ist­ing net­work to im­prove elec­tric­ity sup­ply. The cost of this ex­er­cise, val­ued at Sh13 bil­lion, in­volves re­place­ment of wooden poles with con­cretes ones, re-con­duc­tor­ing, build­ing of ad­di­tional sub­sta­tions, and in­stal­la­tion of trans­form­ers to make power more re­li­able. These new de­vel­op­ments will pro­mote lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers and cre­ate jobs.

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