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Substation investment in Kenya pays off for growing customer base

Kenya’s electricity distribution utility, Kenya Power, has added another substation to its growing network.

This week the power utility launched a 33/11kV substation in Mtondia, Kilifi County to improve the quality of power supply in the area and cater for a growing customer base.

The new substation, which cost KSh249 million ($2.326 million), comprises four distribution lines (feeders) that will enhance the stability of the power supply within Kilifi County.

Additionally, it will boost the capacity of the existing Kilifi substation and offer alternative supply to customers in this area to minimise outages.

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It is one of four substations the power utility is constructing within Kilifi County at a total cost of KSh1.26 billion ($11.770 million) under the Kenya Electricity Modernisation Project (KEMP). The other substations are Sabaki 33/11kV, Kaloleni 33/11kV and Kokotoni 33/11kV.

Kilifi County has registered a 260% growth in customer numbers.

Kenya Power’s Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi, said: “These new investments will improve the quality of power being supplied to the residents of Kilifi County and its environs given its exponential growth in the last eight years.”

He added: “Between 2013 and now, Kilifi County has registered a 260% growth in customer numbers, from 51,821 households to the current 186,403 households. This has seen access improve from 21% to 71%.”

Ngugi explained that this growth is being driven by the Last Mile Connectivity Project, which the Company is undertaking in partnership with the Government.

Kenya targets substation investment to improve customer service

In the last five years, Kenya Power has invested over KSh3.7 billion ($34.596 million) in network expansion projects in the Coast region. These projects include the construction of 13 substations, power lines, and the upgrading of existing substations in Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu and Taita Taveta counties.

In other parts of the country, the power utility has recently constructed the Juja 132/66kV, City Centre 220/66kV and Thika Road 220/66kV substations to serve its customers within Nairobi and its environs, as well as the Kisii East 33/11kV substation.

Emphasising that the company is focused on ensuring that all Kenyans have access to electricity, which is a key driver of economic growth, Ngugi said: “We are carrying out accelerated connectivity projects across the country while at the same time undertaking initiatives that will ensure that the expansion of our customer base does not strain the existing network and compromise the quality of power we sell to our customers.”

Kenya Power is the country’s sole electricity off-taker and currently has a customer base of over eight million customers.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
Nicolette is the Editor of ESI Africa print journal, ESI-Africa.com and the annual African Power & Energy Elites. She is passionate about placing African countries on the international stage and is driven by the motto "The only way to predict the future is to create it". Join her in creating a sustainable future through articles and multimedia content.