On Thursday, Kenya Power and Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Private Limited (TTDI), a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a distribution pilot project.
Toshiba to supply equipment
According to a statement released by the power utility, the MoU will guide the installation, testing and evaluation of equipment that will be supplied by TTDI, on a trial basis, to improve efficiency and reduce both technical and commercial losses in the distribution network.
Present at the signing was Kenya Power's managing director and CEO, Ben Chumo, who said: “As the network grows in tandem with the rapid increase in the number of customers, we experience both technical and commercial losses.
"We are focused on bringing down the system losses from the current 19% to single digit figures in the medium term."
The project will see the installation of a new type of transformer (Amorphous Distribution Transformers) manufactured by TTDI, in the distribution network, with the aim of enhancing efficiency and helping to significantly reduce distribution losses, the utility explained.
According to the power company, TTDI, under guidance from KPLC, will supply safe and eco-friendly Solid Insulated Switchgears (SIS) and Gas Insulated Transformers (GIT) to fight vandalism.
Dr Katsutoshi Toda, chairman and managing director of TTDI, commented: “TTDI has made concerted efforts to understand and respond to the needs of Kenya Power. I believe this MoU reflects KPLC’s positive evaluation of TTDI’s high quality products and of our proposal to contribute towards achieving stable electricity supply."
Kenya demand on rapid incline
The power utility highlighted that intensive investment in the transmission and distribution network is a high priority to meet the increasing electricity demand, which continues to expand across existing infrastructure peripheries.
The country’s access rate to power currently stands at 56% with the objective to increase it up to 70% by the end of next year ahead of attaining universal access by 2020.
Chumo noted: “Kenya Power is committed towards ensuring efficiency in power distribution in order to boost the country’s economic development."