15 January 2009 – A plan was unveiled recently for the establishment of an assembly plant for prepayment meters in Kenya by a multinational company based in Sudan.

Sudan based Active Partners Group are said to be planning a US$7 million plant for local assembly of prepayment meters.

Said Mike Lucas of APG, "because of Kenya’s infrastructure, it is easier for us to be based in Kenya, manufacture and export in the region."  The company plans on marketing to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) welcomed the move which complements the utility’s plans for the introduction of prepayment meters into Kenya.  Actaris Measurement and Systems were selected in September 2008 to design, supply, install, test and commission prepayment software, hardware and meters and a pilot project is expected to commence in March 2009 in about 5 000 middle income homes and some low income areas.

If the pilot project is successful, this could open the door for the installation of some 600 000 connections.

In a bid to improve billing reliability and quality of supply, KPLC launched an automatic meter reading system in December 2008 which will cover 4 000 of the utility’s largest power users, who account for 63% of the power used in Kenya.