M a r k e t N e w s

Sh12bn project to end power outages CS

Posted on : Wednesday, 10th August 2016

The construction of an alternative main power transmission line will restart soon and be complete by November to end nationwide power outages like the one experienced over the weekend.

The set up of the Sh2.64 billion, 400-kilovolts Suswa-Nairobi power line under the project will help address devastating and massive power outages, Energy Cabinet secretary Charles Keter has said.

The CS said the construction on the 100km Suswa-Isinya and the Isinya-Embakasi lines have restarted, after stalling for almost four years.

The project stalled after Kajiado residents demanded 100 per cent compensation as opposed to the 30 per cent average used by the government to acquire wayleaves.

 

“We have sat with Maasai leaders and agreed on the settlement. We have also agreed with the contractors to put up more teams, so by November we have the project complete,” Keter said yesterday during an aerial survey of the line by the ministry and its departments.

The project by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company will provide an alternative transmission line for power from the Olkaria geothermal plant, currently the major supplier of power to the nation.

 

The current line runs from Olkaria to Suswa substation. It then gets into Nairobi through Nairobi North (Ndenderu)-Juja Road –Dandora then to Embakasi. The country presently depends on one main line, the 220KV line, which plunges the entire country into a blackout whenever there is a fault.

A technical hitch near Njiru area caused the countrywide blackout last Saturday, the third this year, after similar outages in January and June.

 

“In future we will not be having these outages. We don’t want to put our eggs in one basket. We will have an alternative route,” Principal secretary Joseph Njoroge said.

The new line will transmit up to 1000megawatts from Suswa to Nairobi.

Keter said the land issues that stalled the project have been solved and the Mombasa line will be complete by December.

“The line between Makueni and Rabai is complete the problem has been around Kiboko River in Kajiado,” he said.

“Kenyans must understand these projects are of national interest. If we continue this way we will never even have a road.”

The government has so far spent Sh2.6 billion to compensate 2,400 affected persons between Mombasa and Nairobi, Ketraco managing director Fernandes Barasa said yesterday.

Along the Suswa-Embakasi line, 1,600 people have been affected costing the government Sh2 billion in compensation.

Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo said Sh10 billion has been set aside for maintaining power lines across the country.

“We have invested in new technology called live line maintenance where there is no shutting down of power. This has ensured minimum interruption,”” Chumo said.

Ketraco’s Suswa substation was energised on June 5, 2015, following successful pre- commissioning tests, enhancing the National Grid stability.

It is the largest substation in Kenya.

Source : www.the-star.co.ke
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