All set for new phase of Last Mile power drive

Kenya Power Managing Director Dr Ken Tarus (left) and China Power's Johnny Wu during the contract signing with 12 firms for implementation of the second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project in Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Kenya Power plans to connect an additional 600,000 low-income customers to the national electricity grid at a cost of Sh30 billion over the next one and a half years.

The firm on Thursday signed 23 agreements with 12 Kenyan and foreign firms that will undertake the civic works to connect new customers to the grid under the second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project, targeting low-income urban and rural households.

The project has been funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), which will provide close to 90 per cent financing, with the Government taking up the balance.

The World Bank will finance connection of 312,500 households at a cost of Sh15 billion while AfDB will cough up Sh13.5 billion to connect 314,200 households.

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“The Last Mile Connectivity Project is expected to address the high cost of extending power supply network, especially in the rural and low-income areas,” said Kenya Power Chief Executive Ken Tarus at the signing ceremony in Nairobi.

Through the Last Mile Project, new customers in close proximity to an electricity transformer pay a connection fee of Sh15,000 to get connected to the grid.

No importing

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This is the second phase of the project and will involve the extension of low-voltage network on existing transformers and installation of 1,000 new distribution transformers across the 47 counties.

Dr Tarus said the first phase resulted in the connection of 314,200 households, at a cost of Sh13.5 billion.

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He told the firms to source materials as well as labour from within the country as opposed to importing in support of the ‘buy Kenyan Build Kenya’ campaign.

“We do not expect you to import the materials that are readily available in the country,” he said.

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Kenya PowerelectricityLast Mile Connectivity Project