Targeting rural locations remains the key to Kenya’s electricity provision plans.
Provision of electricity to 100% of the population of Kenya by 2020 has become Kenya’s national drive that has gathered momentum within the recent past. Directed by a defined multibillion-dollar project pipeline, this initiative by the government is primarily focusing on reaching out to remote areas, which are currently off-the-grid.
Ketraco handling this US$ 3.5 Bn project to primarily reach nearly 80% of Kenyan population
The entire project is worth US$ 3.5 Bn (KSh362Bn) and by 2018, Kenya’s plans are supposed to increase the number of consumers connected to Kenya’s high-voltage grid to 9m, by twofold. The initiative is being coordinated by Ketraco (Kenya Electricity Transmission Company), a state-owned utility that aims grid extension through installation of around 8300 Km new lines, reaching about 80% of the population across Kenya.
With the state-owned utilities aspiring to tap into the maximum funding for electricity projects, the Kenyan government has subsequently unlocked several lucrative opportunities for private developers and investors.
LMCP planning to cover a massive number of rural households first
A separate phase of the project – LMCP (Last Mile Connectivity Project) is due for launch in April, 2017. Through LMCP, the project will particularly focus on providing electricity to remote locations. Under this, around 12,000 Km low-voltage distribution lines will be constructed by the next year. The country houses over 5,000 transformers and the LMCP’s initiative is planning to cover all the households based within a maximum of 600 meter radius of these transformers.
African Development Bank financing phase I
The first LMCP phase worth US$ 150 Mn will be accomplished through 11 contractor partnerships and is being financed by the African Development Bank. Reports say that the next phase will be funded in form of grants or loans by the EU and the French Development Agency. Funding gaps will be bridged through a new PPP (public-private partnership) framework soon to be launched this year.
Government is now keen on encouraging the support by the private electricity development entities, which will be the key to vanquishing the existing budgetary constraints. Apart from this, Kenya also has also planned to foster its international connections through transmission grid.