Thousands of Kenyans are set to benefit from an approval of $135 million loan by the African Development Bank that was launched to cater for the second phase of an energy project. This will see over 1.5 million low income individuals and other small businesses getting access to electricity provided they are located near an existing transformer.
The consumption of electricity in Kenya is set to rise by 45% at the end of 2017 as a result. This will push the government of Kenya and Kenya Power to reinforce supply to electrified areas through least-cost technical solutions that offer a combination of increased capacity, improved reliability and better voltage control.
The support from AfDB will assist the Kenyan Government and Kenya Power in meeting the increased demands of electricity through expansion of the nation’s distribution network through stepping up low-voltage network from the existing transformers to ensure that customers who are 600-metres away gets the electricity.
The funds will also cater for connections costs that is meters to potential customers. The second phase targets 300,000 new customers which entails construction of low-voltage distribution lines, supervision and management and capacity building in different areas that are targeted.
Alex Rugamba, AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department Director, stated, “The AfDB has been playing a leading role in financing and attracting financing for capital intensive energy-related infrastructure projects in the region. It will continue to maintain this momentum by promoting the spirit of its New Deal on Energy for Africa to bring projects which extend the provision of basic infrastructure to those in rural areas, such as the Kenya Last Mile Connectivity project.”
Aligned with the GoK’s objectives of raising the country’s access rate from the current 53% to 70% by 2017 and 100% by 2020, Kenya Power connected 25 percent more customers during its 2014-2105 financial year than the previous year, its largest yearly increase ever recorded. In the current financial year, Kenya Power connected over 1.17 million customers. As of mid-June 2016, Kenya Power registered over 4.7 million customers.
The total project cost of the program, including phase one, which was approved in November 2014, is almost USD 900 million. To date, it is being financed by the AfDB, Government of Kenya and the World Bank Group.