Water levels in the Masinga hydro-dam is still low despite the ongoing rains raising fears of power rationing in the country if the situation does not improve. According to Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter the current water levels are at the lowest for many years. He said levels in the dam that produces more than 600 megawatts stood at 1,338.69 metres terming it as the worst in recent times.
“The standard operating height is 1,337 metres so we are currently working on close to one metre,” he said. Should the water drop below 1,337 metres, the power plant will be shut. However, Keter assured Kenyans that all was well saying there was no cause for alarm as other dams were operating at capacity.
“Unlike in December, January and February when we imported power from Uganda, this time we have enough electricity to last us until the dam levels rise,” he said. “Sondu Miriu and Turkwel dams are well and they will continue to produce power for Western parts of the country,” he said. On power production, the CS said the government and Japan had signed an agreement for the construction of 140mw of geothermal power at Olkaria V in Naivasha.
“These will be a two year project implemented through the support of the Japan International cooperation Agency (JICA). The CS was speaking when he and other Ministry officials met the Senate Committee on energy that is was on a retreat in Naivasha at the weekend. On his part Petroleum CS John Munyes said the government had formed a special unit to investigate cases of adulterated products finding their way into the market.
Munyes said though Rwanda had banned petroleum products from Kenya they were in the process of negotiating so that the trade between the countries could resume. “This sector needs more resources so that the Energy Regulatory Commission can be able to perform its duties as is required,” he said.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina said the cost of electricity would only come down if the line from Nairobi to Mombasa was completed. “We want to urge communities living along this line to stop the numerous wrangles so that the connection can get to Mombasa and we switch off the thermal power, this way power will go down,” he said.