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Kenya seeks funding for $150 mln project to expand power grid

15 September 2015, 19:45

Nairobi - Kenya has announced a second $150 million project to expand its electricity grid to connect another 1.5 million people, with the head of its sole power distributor saying the country was in talks with the African Development Bank to help finance it.

The project represents the second phase of a plan to add a total of 3 million people to the grid of the country, where around half of the 40 million population are not connected and many still use kerosene-powered lamps for lighting, particularly in rural areas.

Kenya Power Chief Executive Ben Chumo also gave a timeframe for the beginning of work on the previously announced first phase of the plan - also to connect 1.5 million people to the grid, at a cost of $150 million. He said it was expected to start in the last quarter of this year.

"We are now discussing the second facility in less than two years. On the first ($150 million), we have gone through the processes, we are now awaiting for approval," Chumo said in a speech at a meeting to discuss financing details.

"For the second phase we shall be connecting 310,851 households, which will also generate 1.5 million customers."

Kenya, which is hobbled by frequent power outages due to its ageing grid and generation shortfalls, has not said when the first or second phases of the plan will be completed.

The African Development Bank will be contributing 90 percent of the financing for the first phase, with the government covering the rest. For the second phase, Kenya is seeking 87.4 percent of the funds from the bank, with the government paying for the rest.

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- Reuters


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