New underground power cable to ease electricity outages in Nairobi


Power cuts within Nairobi central business district (CBD), Industrial Area and adjacent regions could soon become a thing of the past. This is after Ministry of Energy commissioned the 220kV Athi River–Embakasi underground power cable passing through the Nairobi National Park yesterday.

Energy Cabinet Secretar Charles Keter said the facility is going to serve the whole of Nairobi, the  CBD and Industrial Area on Mombasa Road all the way to Athi River.

“The quality of power is therefore going to improve and reliability of power is going to be achieved by this line. We will now be able to transmit more geothermal from Olkaria,” he said when he toured the Embakasi substation.

Previously Kenya Power relied on the old Juja – Dandora route for power transmission, whose fragility led to a six-hour blackout on January 9.

The CS blamed the incident on a technical fault in the central fields of Dandora- Nairobi North, which interrupted businesses within Nairobi and its environs.

Kenya Power has since replaced the circuit breaker 105 at Naivasha 132/33KV substation and a differential relay at Dandora 220Kv.

The seven kilometre underground cable being put up by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) is part of the Olkaria – Suswa – Mombasa power line.

President Kenyatta commissioned the line in August last year but was vandalised, forcing the ministry to cough a whopping €11 million (Sh1.3 billion) to replace the line.

Ketraco chairman James Rege said the underground cable that runs 7km out of the 100km 220kV was necessary as it falls within the National Park as well as in the flight path.

“This line will increase additional capacity to Nairobi from Olkaria thus improving reliability and availability of power in the city,” he said, adding that the line will also reduce cost of power through  reduction of transmission losses.

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