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Nairobi affected by substation technical fault

On Monday, a technical fault occurred at a Kenya Power substation in Ndenderu (Nairobi North Substation) cutting off supplies from Olkaria geothermal fields to the City.

According to the utility, this disruption caused a power outage affecting Nairobi, Coast and Mount Kenya regions.

Technical fault under repair

The Company’s general manager for network management, Eng. Daniel Tare, said the technical teams were on the ground to normalise power supply as quickly as possible.

“We regret any inconvenience caused by the outage,” Eng. Tare said.

With many businesses reliant on power for day-to-day operations, the intermittent power, which is the result of theft and vandalism and unplanned outages, forces businesses to rely on diesel generators.

Curbing causes of vandalism

With efforts to curb acts of theft, the utility released a statement last year calling for transformer suppliers that will be required to adhere to new guidelines as the utility acts to curb transformer vandalism and improve the quality of power supply.

“The new specifications are envisioned to increase durability of transformers while making them less attractive to vandals,” the utility explained at the time.

The utility said that 222 transformers were vandalised last year resulting in a Sh86 million ($849,256)  loss to company, compared to 268 transformers vandalised in the previous year, costing Sh100 million ($987,507).

“From July to date, 33 transformers have been vandalised, compared to 50 in the same period last year,” Kenya Power said in a statement.

The power company explained: “Under the new guidelines, transformers will contain aluminum windings, as opposed to copper which is attractive to vandals. The requirement is expected to control the quality of transformers while at the same time prevent vandalism.

“Suppliers will also be required to provide a list of critical raw materials and their sources in order to ease traceability of parts and control the quality of the equipment.”

The company added: “In addition, the guidelines require that a supplier provides a warranty of six years and five years from the date of delivery and commissioning respectively.

“This will help reduce transformer failure rates and compel manufacturers to take responsibility for any manufacturing defects.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.