In East Africa, public power utility Kenya Power has called upon local manufacturers and suppliers of electrical equipment to partner with the utility in the implementation of the Last Mile connectivity project across the country.
In November 2015, Kenya Power’s managing director Ben Chumo announced that the Last Mile project had exceeded its initial target of connecting one million people by December.
He revealed that the figures stood at 1,087,829.
The Last Mile project is a government initiative established to expand affordable and efficient electricity access across remote, indigent communities in the country.
Kenya Power invites local traders
According to the Daily Nation, on Tuesday Kenya Power issued a notice to the public inviting local traders to tender to supply materials needed for the project, which include treated wooden poles, conductors, cables, insulators, bolts and nuts.
The notice read: “The company wishes to take this opportunity to support local industries and manufacturers by encouraging them to prepare to supply some of the items required by the contractors for this project.”
The Last Mile objective is to boost Kenya’s access to electricity by connecting 70% against the current 40% in its first phase.
Kenya Power’s general manager Stanley Mutwiri, who is overseeing infrastructure development, told the Daily Nation that the company has not yet established any specific allocation for local suppliers because they will have to compete with their international counterparts.
He said, “If local companies have the capability to supply all what we need then we will source the materials from them. Otherwise, all suppliers will be subjected to a tender process where the best will be contracted.”
About 480,000 pieces of treated poles and 48,000 kilometres of conductors and cables will be required for the project.
314,000 households to be electrified
In December 2015, the company signed contracts with 11 companies to accelerate the implementation of the first phase starting from this month.
The Daily Nation reported that the first phase will involve connecting 314,000 households within a radius of 600 metres from a transformer to the power grid at a cost of Sh15,000 ($146.5324) each.