Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 09 March 2011 – Power transmission company Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Ketraco) has awarded Siemens Energy a US$30 million contract to extend the two high voltage substations which are part of the Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line project in Kenya.
On Friday the 14th of January 2011, KETRACO signed the contract with global engineering company Siemens for the extension of Rabai and Embakasi substations.
Ketraco managing director Joel Kiilu said the extension of the 220 kV substations was vital in order to tie in electricity transmitted within the 400 kV and 220 kV Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line that was currently being constructed by Indian company Kalpataru. “The extension of the two substations will make it easy to transmit power within the high voltage line from Mombasa," he said during the contract signing ceremony.
Kiilu said the project would for the first time involve the installation of an 8-km underground cable near Embakasi. Though erecting underground cables was expensive, this was the only alternative because the site fell on a flight path, and installing normal towers could pose a threat to airplanes landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The project, which is being financed by the France Development Agency (AFD) and the Kenyan Government, is expected to take 20 months.
Extension of the Rabai and Embakasi substations form phase three of the entire Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line construction project, costing US$90 million.
The line is of critical importance because it will be used to transfer electricity from thermal power stations in the coastal area to Nairobi, to improve the power system stability and reliability, and to reduce technical losses and play a major role in regional power trade.