Credit: Clarke Electric Cooperative

Last week, Kenya Power launched a way leave trace maintenance project in Mombasa aimed at tackling the energy supply challenges that this region has recently been experiencing.

This initiative is to ensure that power lines are clear of trees and branches, replacing broken insulators, jumper rehabilitation and reconductoring high and medium voltage lines.

Way leave maintenance required

With trees account for 60% of power supply quality challenges in the country, the way leave maintenance programme is essential to assist the power utility in securing a reliable power supply to the region.

According to Kenya Power, in the Nyali area, about 75% of the supply challenges are associated with trees and vegetation encroaching power lines.

Kenya Power’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ben Chumo said: “Vegetation greatly interferes with the quality of our lines. This maintenance project we are launching today is part of a campaign to enhance the quality of electricity supply in the country.”

Recent challenges

In May, the utility maintenance team encountered issues with the local municipality.

County government started clamping Kenya Power vehicles and harassing its staff, the power company said.

[quote]On Monday, May 30, Kenya Power filed a notice of motion under Civil Procedures Rules and the Energy Act (2006) against the County government of Mombasa.

The launch of the tree cutting project comes just days after a High Court ruling in favour of Kenya Power delivered by Justice P.J Otieno on May 31, 2016 restraining the County Government of Mombasa and its agents from harassing Kenya Power staff lawfully engaged in lopping off trees, among other operations.

The ruling is a major boost to Kenya Power’s effort towards delivering on the promise of quality and reliable supply of affordable electricity.

Utility rights

According to the utility, they are allowed to clear vegetation on up to 5 metres on either side of the 11kV lines.

In the past, the company has been involved in pruning of trees near power lines but this has proved to be unsustainable in trying to achieve a clear way leave corridor.

Kenya Power is also installing new low and medium voltage lines and upgrading existing transformers and distribution lines to ease pressure on the network in Coast and improve the quality of energy supply.

 

Featured image credit: Clarke Electric Cooperative