Kenya Power’s national electrification drive, dubbed the Last Mile Connectivity, appears to be making significant progress since its inception in 2013.
According to The African Business, latest figures from the Energy Regulatory Commission and Kenya Power, indicates that “the proportion of the population with access to electricity has jumped from 27% in 2013 to 55% at present.”
Furthermore, recent financial results from the national power company revealed that the utility increased the number of customers from 4.4 million in January 2016 to 5.7 million by December 2016. Read more…
National power connectivity project
Under the national power connectivity project, the government seeks to boost power penetration to 70% by the end of this year and 95% by 2021, media stated.
Revenues increased 9.9% from KSh41.6 billion ($397 million) to KSh45.8 billion ($437 million) for the six months to December 2016 and it generated a KSh4.2 billion ($40 million) post-tax profit, up 13.5% on the same period in 2015.
However, it is reported that the firm has decided not to pay shareholders an interim dividend, as it is using the money to continue the electrification programme.
The company’s acting CEO Ken Tarus said: “Cash balances decreased significantly due to an aggressive implementation of capital projects. The company is focused on implementation of key capital projects to ensure reliable power supply … the new infrastructure will expand the network, enhance the system’s flexibility and reliability of power supply.” Read more…
Tarus further explained: “The projects are at various stages of implementation with some scheduled for completion in the current financial year.”
The power utility’s capital expenditure on distribution is said to have increased from KSh13 billion ($124 million) in the second half of 2015 to KSh16.1 billon ($153 million) for the same period last year.
Media highlighted that some challenges that the project could face will mainly come from rural areas where distances are bigger and people are less able to pay.
The African Business also noted that aside from new transmission and distribution infrastructure, the electrification programme will also require the generation of a lot more electricity.
It is reported that government has decided that this will be provided by a combination of new KenGen projects, independent power producers as well power imports from Ethiopia.