By Christine Muchira
Kenya Power and Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Private Limited (TTDI) , subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on implementation of a pilot project aimed at decreasing distribution losses in the national grid.
The MoU will guide installation, testing and evaluation of equipment that will be supplied by TTDI, on a trial basis, to improve efficiency and reduce both technical and commercial losses in the distribution network.
“As the network grows in tandem with the rapid increase in the number of customers, we experience both technical and commercial losses. We are focused on bringing down the system losses from the current 19 per cent to single digit figures in the medium term,” said Kenya Power’s Managing Director & CEO Dr. Ben Chumo.
The pilot project will involve installation of new type of transformers (Amorphous Distribution Transformers) manufactured by TTDI, in the distribution network, with the aim of enhancing efficiency and helping to significantly reduce distribution losses.
In addition, TTDI, under guidance from KPLC, will supply safe and eco-friendly Solid Insulated Switchgears (SIS) and Gas Insulated Transformers (GIT) to fight vandalism.
“TTDI has made concerted efforts to understand and respond to the needs of Kenya Power. I believe this MoU reflects KPLC’s positive evaluation of TTDI’s high quality products and of our proposal to contribute towards achieving stable electricity supply,” said Dr. Katsutoshi Toda, Chairman & Managing Director of TTDI.
Rapid economic growth has continuously increased demand for electric power in the country, calling for intensive investment in the transmission and distribution network.
The country’s access rate to power currently stands at 56 per cent with a focus to scale it up to 70 per cent by the end of next year ahead of attaining universal access by 2020.
“Kenya Power is committed towards ensuring efficiency in power distribution in order to boost the country’s economic development,” said Dr. Chumo.
Toshiba Group intends to leverage on technological advantages and high reliability of its products to contribute towards stable electricity supply in growing markets such as Africa, Asia and the Middle East.