Dr Ken Tarus
Reliability and efficiency of a country’s key infrastructure has great impact on its achievement of desired economic milestones. Electricity distribution network is one of the crucial systems of our economy whose functioning has a direct bearing on the quality of power we sell to our customers.
This largely determines our country’s ability to attract foreign investors and sustain industries and other electricity consuming establishments that are already operational.
Over the years, the Kenyan electricity market has been evolving, growing, like others all over the world. The demand for electricity has gone up in tandem with economic expansion that has seen number of households, commercial establishments and investments in industries increase significantly.
To maintain its competitive advantage, Kenya Power has identified four areas where it will focus operations in the medium to long term. They include; infrastructure development, network management, loss reduction and customer centricity.
It is currently implementing a total of 252 projects across the country at a cost of Sh119 billion. This investment is intended to enhance power distribution network to serve growing numbers of customers, increased system efficiency, minimise losses and improve reliability of supply.
Currently, the company is undertaking Boresha Umeme initiative, a network maintenance programme targeting industrial and surrounding domestic customers.
The project involves maintenance of existing network through activities such as upgrading of substations, upgrading existing conductors, replacement of rotten wooden poles with concrete poles in areas prone to termites and water logging or flooding and vegetation management along the power lines.
It also entails construction of more distribution lines to serve growing numbers of customers. For large power customers, alternative lines are being constructed to ensure they have more than one power supply source.
These include alternative feeders to industries that make the network flexible and eliminate the need for shutdown during maintenance as customers enjoy multiple sources of supply. This will ensure production processes are not interrupted thus mitigating losses for manufacturers. The writer is Acting Managing Director & CEO of Kenya Power.