The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Kenya electricit­y imports half due to drought


KENYA is importing just half of the contracted electricit­y capacity from Ethiopia due to a biting drought that has reduced dam water levels in the Horn of Africa country.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir revealed on Monday that Kenya has been tapping 100 megawatts of electricit­y from Ethiopia, which is only half the capacity of 200 megawatts that the two countries inked last year.

“Drought has had a major effect on the cost of electricit­y. Even Ethiopia, which we contracted 200 megawatts has only been supplying 100 megawatts because of the drought that they have been experienci­ng,” he said.

The minister made the disclosure in his submission­s at the ongoing National Dialogue Committee hearings on government interventi­ons that could lower the cost of living.

Mr Chirchir added that the Masinga Dam, which is owned by KenGen, has not supplied any electricit­y to the grid for the past two months due to low hydrology caused by drought.

Masinga is one of the 16 hydroelect­ric power dams supplying electricit­y to the grid in Kenya and is part of the Seven Forks Scheme Dams along the Tana River.

“We have gotten zero megawatts from Masinga in the last two months because the dam has no water. The rain that was being reported in western parts of the country was not being recorded in eastern, but it has started raining there and the dam is now filling up. It filled by three metres today,” said Mr Chirchir.

Kenya in January started importing cheaper hydroelect­ric power from Ethiopia, with the capacity to be stepped up to 400MW in three years.

This is after the two countries, through their utilities Kenya Power and Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP), signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) in July last year. —

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