Kenya Power deploys live line maintenance to boost income

Scheduled power outages may be a thing of the past, following the launch of a live line maintenance program by Kenya Power.

This will allow the electricity distributor to work on repairs of electricity lines and transformers without necessarily switching off power in the affected area.

This will come as a welcome relief for most users, with scheduled outages usually lasting over eight hours.

“This is a new initiative we are deploying to ensure we minimize and eventually eliminate the need to switch off our customers to undertake repair works, routine maintenance, system reinforcement and connection of new customers,” Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo said.

Kenya Power has invested Sh720 million in the first phase of the project, with the World Bank expected to add an additional Sh201 million towards implementation of the second phase.

72 technicians will be trained in the first phase of the project on how to operate on the 11kv, 33kv and 66kv distribution lines.

The maintenance work will entail changing rotten poles, repairing broken jumpers, and connecting new customers to the grid without interrupting power supply.

For Kenya power this will have an added advantage of ensuring no loss of revenue caused by system downtime.

“This is expected to enhance our revenues as every time we switch off customers we lose sales”, Mr Chumo said.

Six teams have already been trained on handling live lines with each team comprising five technicians. A pilot phase for the project is being carried out in Nairobi before subsequent roll out in other regions.

The electricity distributor has allocated Sh119 billion to 252 capital intensive projects as it seeks to improve power supply as well as constructing redundancy distribution lines to ensure customers have alternative power sources.

By Noah Kuto