14 March 2014

Kenya: Chirchir Directs Kenya Power to Cut Inefficiencies

Nairobi — Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir has challenged Kenya Power to quickly work on its inefficiencies and ensure that it will be able to handle and supply more power expected in the national grid in the next 40 months.

He said delays in upgrading and expanding the transmission systems will lead the national power supplier being overwhelmed and unable to absorb the high amount of energy.

He says Kenya Power should also work on proper use of resources to ensure more funds are allocated to modern infrastructure.

"We are asking the off taker Kenya Power to re-look at its strategies, so that we do not load more cost on power because of our inefficiencies," Chirchir said.

Even as the government plans to inject over 5,000 Megawatt (MW) power production by 2017, Chirchir said it will be unfortunate if the national supplier will still not be in a position to buy and transmit to consumers.

The 5000MW additional generation capacity will be developed from 1646MW of geothermal, Natural Gas 1,050MW, 630MW from wind and coal 1,920MW, all under the framework of public private partnership (PPP).

Currently, Kenya Power has the capacity to off take and supply 1664MW. This comprises 770MW of hydro, 241MW geothermal, 622MW thermal, co-generation 26MW and wind 5.1MW.

On the list of projects expected to increase demand for electricity includes construction of the standard gauge railway, setting up of Konza city and other ICT towns.

Chirchir also called on Kenya Power to now work closely with the county government to see how to invest in transmission infrastructure and properly address consumer concerns at a closer level.

"We don't want Kenya Power officers to just sit here in Nairobi but to be present in the counties at a very senior level. We want to ensure they closely look at the quality of power."

The CS was speaking on Friday during a workshop to discuss the National Energy Policy and Energy Bill, 2014.

"The overall objective of the Bill is to ensure competitive, affordable, sustainable, reliable supply of energy to meet national and county development needs while protecting and conserving the environment," he said.

The Bill is expected before Parliament by July this year.

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