Electric-lines
Kenya Power will use the $10m loan to upgrade its power infrastructure in order to help the country reach its goal of adding 5,000MW to the grid by 2017

In East Africa, publicly listed electric utility Kenya Power has secured a $10 million loan from United Bank for Africa, Kenya, as part of a five-year syndicated agreement to finance energy infrastructure in the country.

Kenya Power’s CEO Dr Ben Chumo said the funds will propel the upgrading of power infrastructure forward, including planned electricity projects set out for various parts of the country, local media report.

Chumo said: “Timely completion of these capital intensive projects is critical in ensuring long-term viability of Kenya Power business as well as in making the country an attractive investment destination.”

The utility intends to refurbish aged transmission lines with ones that have a larger capacity, upgrade its existing substations, build 37 new substations, and install new equipment on the power grid.

The work forms part of Kenya’s plan to add an additional 5,000MW to the grid by 2017, said Isaac Mwige, managing director of United Bank for Africa, commenting on the approval of the loan.

Local content in electricity modernisation

In addition to the refurbishment plan, Kenya Power has put out a tender for local manufacturing firms to get on board with the country’s electricity expansion initiative.

The tender released last month following the Kenyan government securing additional financing from the African Development Bank calls for local manufacturers to supply materials for the Last Mile Connectivity Project, which aims to connect 284,200 residential customers and 30,000 commercial customers to the national electricity grid.

Dr Ben Chumo, managing director and CEO of Kenya Power, said: “We hope that a high percentage of the materials to be procured will be sourced locally. Kenya Power has a strong desire to have manufacturers investing locally to cut on long lead times involved in buying goods from abroad as well as create local business opportunities.”