Kenya Power, the country’s premier utility company, has signed a total of 23 contracts for the implementation of the government’s Last Mile Connectivity Project (LMCP), an initiative that ultimately seeks to connect the entire country to the national electricity grid.
The Project is funded by both the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. Kenya Power officials say that the project is currently in its second phase adding that 314,200 households will soon be connected to Kenya’s national power grid, utilizing 5,320 existing distribution transformers across the country’s 47 counties at a cost of Ksh13.5 billion ($130 million).
The AfDB will cover 87% while the Government of Kenya will provide 13% of the total amount. This project will involve 15 contracts for works spread across the country.
“The Last Mile Connectivity Project is expected to address the high cost of extending power supply network especially in the rural and low-income areas,” said Kenya Power’s Managing Director & CEO Dr Ken Tarus.
Under the first phase, 314,200 households are being connected at a cost of Ksh13.5 billion ($130 million), funded by the AfDB, which contributed 90% of the amount with the Government of Kenya providing the balance of 10%.
Under the World Bank-funded LMCP, 312,500 households are targeted for connection at a cost of Ksh15 billion ($140 million).
So far, six contracts for works which will be engaged for the project have been signed this week. This phase will involve extension of a low voltage network on existing transformers and installation of 1,000 new distribution transformers across Kenya’s 47 counties.
Intensive implementation of various connectivity strategies including the Last Mile Connectivity Project and the electrification project targeting informal settlements and low-income areas have seen Kenya Power’s customer base grow by 1.4 million new customers in the last financial year to 6,182,282 customers.
The rapid growth has raised the country’s electricity connectivity access rate from 27% in 2013 to 70.3% as at 30th June, 2017. The target is to achieve universal access by 2020.
“The sustainability of our business is anchored on entrenching our presence in the electricity market. We will continue to grow our customer base and venture into new frontiers. The connectivity drive is aimed at increasing revenue to sustain our business and promote socio-economic development,” said Dr Tarus.