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Kenya Power criticized for latest national blackout

16 January 2015, 14:54

Nairobi - More than half of Kenya, including the capital Nairobi, suffered a power outage early on Friday after a major transmission line failed, distributor Kenya Power said.

Kenya Power, which is the country's sole electricity distributor, said the blackout started at 3.39 am local time (0039 GMT). It managed to restore power to most places by 7.15 am (0415 GMT).

The outage resulted from a system disturbance on a 220 kV transmission line running between Nairobi and Olkaria, some 100 km northwest of the capital.

East Africa's largest economy is struggling with an ageing energy infrastructure that sometimes curbs efforts to improve supply in order to attract investments.

Kenya Power, which serves about 2.8 million customers out of a population of 40 million, distributes power generated mostly from renewable energy such as hydro power and geothermal steam.

The government aims to add an extra 5,000 MW capacity by 2017 from about 1,664 MW now, in a bid to cut the cost of doing business.

The latest outage though did not surprise many, with the increased levels of outages now a commonality.

Kenyans on social media were all over the company and its latest fail, something the company said it was working hard to ensure does not happen too often.

" The company has made efforts to ensure that this situation does not arise again," a statement from the party said.

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- Reuters


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