Kenya Power in deal to cut system losses

Kenya Power in deal to cut system losses

Utility firm Kenya Power has partnered with an Indian based firm to upgrade its distribution system in the hopes of minimizing power disruptions.

Kenya Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with Toshiba Transmission and Distribution System Limited (TTDI) to improve efficiency and reduce both technical and commercial losses in the distribution network.

The MoU will guide installation, testing and evaluation of equipment that will be supplied by TTDI, on a trial basis, to improve efficiency and reduce both technical and commercial losses in the distribution network.

The results are expected to verify the effectiveness of the equipment in Kenya’s grid network, without binding Kenya Power to adopt the technology in its future procurement.

Kenya Power Chief Executive Officer Dr Ben Chumo said the firm plans to reduce the system losses from 19 percent into the single digits, ensuring reliable power supply to its close to five million customers.

Kenya Power has been using an aged distribution network that has been prone to trips.

“As the network grows in tandem with the rapid increase in the number of customers, we experience both technical and commercial losses. We are focused on bringing down the system losses from the current 19 per cent to single digit figures in the medium term,” said Dr Chumo.

The MD said with upgrade to the system, Kenya power will also be able to deliver quality services to customers.

“Kenya Power is committed towards ensuring efficiency in power distribution in order to boost the country’s economic development,” he said.

The pilot project, set to be complete within 30 days, will involve installation of Amorphous Distribution Transformers to enhance efficiency and reduce distribution losses; supply Solid Insulated Switch gears and Gas Insulated Transformers to fight vandalism.

TTDI Managing Director Dr. Katsutoshi Toda said Toshiba Group intends to leverage on technological advantages and high reliability of its products to contribute towards stable electricity supply in growing markets such as Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“TTDI has made concerted efforts to understand and respond to the needs of Kenya’s utilities. I believe this MoU reflects KPLC’s positive evaluation of TTDI’s high quality products and of our proposal to contribute towards achieving stable electricity supply,” said Dr. Toda.

Kenya Power owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in the country and sells electricity to over 4.9 million customers.

In April this year, Kenya Power  awarded a Sh3.4 billion contract to Toshiba Corporation for the supply of 8,000 transformers over a period of three years, largely driven by large scale programs such as the Last Mile Connectivity and maintenance work adding that the supply will however be on a need basis.