Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kenya to build local power transformer plant

Kenya is set to construct the first electricity transformers manufacturing plant in the region to boost electricity distribution in the country.
According to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company the plant will manufacture and assemble transformer for local as well as regional market.

In a paid up advert in local dailies the company is calling interested firms to help in carrying out a study on the viability of such a project.

Late last year the company raised 9.8 billion shillings through a rights issue, which KPLC says was meant for upgrading its systems in the country.

KPLC has invited prequalification bids for a viability study on building a local transformer manufacturing plant to help meet the country's growing demand for power.

 Kenya suffers regular power failure owing to insufficient electricity generation capacity and a dilapidated transmission network which have been largely blamed on investor flights and high power bills.....
The country's sole power distributor said it expected a sharp increase in demand for transformer equipment as east Africa's largest economy moved to increase connectivity in rural areas.

"The government of Kenya has a goal to accelerate the access rate ... to at least 40 percent (of the rural population) by 2020," the company said in a statement.

"This growth rate will see an increase in the number of transformers required by KPLC."

Statistics from the Ministry of Energy indicate that less than 20 percent of Kenya's 40 million people are wired up to the grid.

But the number is significantly low in rural areas at around 5%. The new plant will be required to come up with new ways of tackling transformer theft which costs the company billions of shillings.

KPLC says it has lost close to 1,500 transformers and 167 kilometers of power cables with an estimated value of over Sh7b.over the last five years.

Source: KBC (Kenya Broadcasting Station)


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