Workers on automation
system units in Kenya
 
Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 04 January 2012  – Kenya Power expects the demand for credit financing for new electricity connections in the country to rise in 2012.

The power supplier is negotiating with Kenyan banks on modalities to make the funds available. National Bank of Kenya is already on board and a pilot test is underway.

“We are targeting Stima Loan programmes such as Equity Bank’s, to provide additional funds in order to meet the rising demand,” said deputy communications manager Migwi Theuri. So far, 3,689 customers have benefited from Stima Loans from Equity Bank.

In 2010, Kenya Power, in partnership with Agence Francaise de Developement of France set up a US$5.8 million revolving fund for the credit facilities.

Mr Theuri said over 70% of the fund had been disbursed so far, benefiting 20,344 clients, while 1,743 customers were yet to be connected to the national grid. The loan is accessible by any credit worthy Kenyan. “Kenya Power is responsible for disconnecting loan defaulters from the national grid,” said Mr Theuri.

Kenya Power is also implementing a US$6 million project to automate an electricity distribution network that will swiftly identify causes of interruptions.

El-Mor Electricity Limited of Israel and Lucy Electricity Limited of United Kingdom are installing automatic switches plus other requisite facilities which will be controlled from a central location.

The system will allow Kenya Power to minimise losses resulting from breakdowns, as well as time spent to restore supply to consumers.

“The automated system will enable staff to remotely locate and isolate faulty positions along distribution lines with minimal disruptions to customers who are not directly affected by the fault,” he added. “Our teams will spend less time travelling to sites identifying problems and more time on planning effective maintenance programmes to help reduce future failures,” said Mr Thueri.

The project entails installation of automation system units in selected areas in Nairobi and Mombasa. In Mombasa, the automation systems will cover the island and its environs.

Phase one of project is expected to be completed by mid 2012, and Kenya Power will benefit from innovation which will see the distribution network become more reliable in the long term.

With a monitoring system in place, faulty records can be kept for analysis and investigation.