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Chinese firm gets Sh13.5 billion power line tender

By Macharia Kamau | Published Tue, July 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 17th 2017 at 20:15 GMT +3


High voltage power lines.The Isiolo-Garissa line will have a capacity of 220 kilovolts. [File, Standard]

The Energy and Petroleum ministry has awarded a $131.1 million (Sh13.5 billion) contract to China Camc Engineering for the construction of a power transmission line between Isiolo and Garissa.

The Chinese firm will put up a 285 kilometre high voltage line between the two towns. The power transmission line, when complete, is expected to help stabilise power supply in the two remote regions.

The two northern Kenya towns were recently connected to the national electricity grid and are currently being lit by power from the seven folks hydroelectricity system, after years of relying of thermal generators for power.

In a statement yesterday, China Camc said the contract also required it to build three substations along the route of the planned power line.

“China Camc Engineering has signed the contract for the power transmission line from Isiolo to Garissa with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum,” said the company in a statement yesterday.

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The project, the firm said, will take 24 months to complete. In addition to boosting stability of power supply in the region, the 220 kilovolt (KV) line is expected to enable the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to put up a solar power plant that will see it start transmitting power to other regions in the country.

REA  plans to build a Sh12 billion solar power plant in the region, which will have a capacity to generate 55 megawatts. It has, however, experienced delays and is yet to start close to an year after the Ministry of Energy and another Chinese firm that was expected to put up the plant signed a memorandum of understanding. The power line is among those that the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company has planned in a bid to get the whole country connected to the national grid. 


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