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Kenya Power secures $190 mln loan for infrastructure upgrade

20 November 2014, 11:38

Nairobi -  Kenya Power, the country's sole electricity distributor, said on Wednesday it had secured a $190 million loan from Standard Chartered Bank to upgrade its transmission network.

East Africa's largest economy is struggling with ageing energy infrastructure and the government has said it plans to add 5,000 megawatts (MW) to the existing 1,664 MW of generation capacity by 2017.

"Kenya Power will use the funds to make huge investments in acquisition of additional transformers and other construction materials in the next one year," managing director Ben Chumo said in a statement.

"These materials will be used to construct new substations and power lines while at the same time upgrading others to enhance capacity of the power network and improve quality and reliability of power supply to customers."

Kenya Power is also the main electricity transmission company in the east African nation, which suffers from frequent blackouts because of generation shortfalls and an ageing grid.

Also read: Kenya Power 2012-13 pre-tax profit drops

Chumo said the upgraded network was expected to cater for an additional 1 million new customers including industrial, commercial and domestic users. Kenya Power at present serves about 2.8 million customers out of a population of 40 million.

Kenya relies heavily on renewable energy such as hydro power and geothermal for its electricity.

Kenya Power posted in October a 55 percent jump in its full-year pre-tax profit to 10.2 billion shillings ($113 million), driven by increased sales of electricity, higher tariffs and reduced losses due to improvements in the power grid.

The electricity transmission company said electricity sales grew by nearly 10 percent compared to last year.

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- Reuters


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