Consumers to save Sh3.6b as State retires thermal plants

Business Daily Kenya:  Ndegwa Gathungu and Yvonne Mutunga @PeopleDailyKe The government plans to switch off two thermal power generation p...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Geothermal energy. Photo/Courtesy

Ndegwa Gathungu and Yvonne Mutunga @PeopleDailyKe

The government plans to switch off two thermal power generation plants in Mombasa by next week in an effort to reduce fuel cost component in power bills.

It is expected the action will permit generation of energy at the most efficient level using geothermal and wind thus helping consumers save up to about Sh3.6 billion in power bills. Switch-off has been necessitated by the completion of the Mombasa-Nairobi electricity transmission line.

The 482km 400/220kV line is the largest project of its kind to be implemented in Kenya and also in the region. It was conceived out of the need to boost transmission capacity between Mombasa and Nairobi as existing capacity could not transmit extra load.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) Electrical engineer James Mutemi said Coast region has been using almost 100 per cent thermal power.

However, for the first time green power from Olkaria’s geothermal sources and later from Turkana Wind will reach the region via the new transmission line, he said while speaking during an inspection tour of Rabai Substation in Kilifi County.

“The Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line will greatly boost power transfer capacity between the two cities by replacing the existing 66kV power line which has frequently been subjected to various challenges including vandalism,” he said.

Mutemi identified other challenges that faced the project as marine pollution which weakens wires leading to frequent breakage and scavenger birds like marabou stock flying into and creating short circuit between the transmission line conductors.

The Sh12.8 billion project is funded by the Government, African Development Bank, French Development Agency and European Investment Bank and is scheduled for commissioning in two weeks.

“The project that started seven years ago also has three associated substations at Mariakani, Rabai and Embakasi,” Mutemi said. He said the transmission line will connect one million additional customers besides reducing the cost of electricity to consumers.

“When the Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line starts work, we would switch off some of the diesel-powered generation plants at the coast. There is a likely savings of Sh3.6 billion annually that will go directly to power consumers,” Mutemi added during the tour.

The post Consumers to save Sh3.6b as State retires thermal plants appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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