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Govt seeks 60 bln shilling loan to raise power connections

28 July 2014, 13:57

Nairobi - The government will borrow 60 billion shilling ($684.54 million) from the African Development Bank (AfDB), to help more than double electricity connections to 70 percent of the population in five years, the energy minister said.

The nation, which suffers from frequent blackouts because of generation shortfalls and an ageing grid, has sought to increase customer connections, particularly in rural areas where many people still use kerosene-powered lamps for lighting.

Davis Chirchir said in a statement issued by distributor Kenya Power on Monday that the funding would be finalised by December, paving the way for the release of the first tranche of 12 billion shillings in this financial year.

Chirchir said the money will used to take electricity closer to potential consumers and increase the number of customers from 2.8 million to approximately 8 million in five years.

That will translate to the number of people with access to electricity rising to 70 percent from 32 percent, the statement said.

Kenya is also investing additional funds in power plants to add 5,000 MW supply capacity to the existing 1,664 MW by 2017 in order to cut tariffs and lower business costs.

- Reuters

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