Home Business State plots Ksh 810B power line overhaul after major outage

State plots Ksh 810B power line overhaul after major outage

PHOTO | File

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir has said the Sunday night electricity outage in most parts of the country was caused by an overload on the Kisumu-Muhoroni transmission line.

Chirchir said the transmission line was evacuating 149 megawatts of power against its designated 80 megawatts due to a sudden increased in electricity demand.

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“For a line to be carrying 149MW when it is disigned for 80MW, it felt threatened and it tripped and cascaded down to the rest of the country,” said Chirchir.

According to the energy CS, the blackout was also due to strained transmission network which has suffered slow investment and upgrade over time.

Chirchir says the government has secured funding from South Korea to construct an alternative line linking Narok-Bomet-Awendo as part of efforts to load shed.

There are further plans to fast-track critical transmission lines to deload the existing lines and strengthen the grid.

These include, construction of Narok–Bomet 132kV and completion of Sondu – Ndhiwa 132kV power lines to de-load Kisumu- Muhoroni- Chemosit power line and provide stability in South Nyanza and Central Rift regions.

“The transmission links are currently constrained because industries have been growing, the power users have been growing and we have not upgraded the transmission network,” added Chirchir.

A total overhaul of the transmission lines is projected to cost Ksh 810.9 billion ($5.3b), Chirchir says the government is considering opening up Private Public Partnerships to forestall the shortfall of generation capacity required to meet the growing demand and replace retiring power plants in the medium term.

Trevor Ng'endo
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