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Power tariffs to remain high, says KPLC

BUSINESS
By | Nov 8th 2009 | 2 min read
By | November 8th 2009
BUSINESS

By Moses Njagih

Kenyans will continue paying high electricity bills despite the onset of El-Nino rains.

Kenya Power and Lighting Company Managing Director Joseph Njoroge said the power tariffs would only go down after hydroelectric power plants resume optimum generation, possibly after a few months of continuous rains.

Njoroge said although the seven forks dams, which are used to generate the bulk of power, are rapidly filling, the water levels are yet to reach the required point for maximum power generation.

"For example, water levels at Masinga are now at 10m following the rains, but there are still 18 more metres required for power generation to resume at the plant," he said.

Speaking in Nyeri after honouring long-serving employees of the company, Njoroge said it is only after all the dams attain the required water levels for maximum generation that Kenyans will enjoy lower tariffs.

"The rains are here yes, but it is still not time to celebrate.

However, we will have slight reduction in the tariffs after some time," he said.

He said the Government pledge on free energy saving bulbs would be fulfilled at the end of the month.

"Towards the end of November, distribution of the free energy saving bulbs will be done," he said.

He said much of the profit raked in by the company will be ploughed back to improve power distribution network.

He said currently, only about 20 per cent of Kenyans have access to electricity.

Njoroge said the company is installing a 122km high voltage line from Kamburu to Meru at a cost of Sh1.6 billion.

"After this project is completed, residents of Meru and other adjacent areas who have always suffered from low voltage will enjoy better quality power," he said

He said vandalism of transformers is the major challenge, saying about 2,000 transformers are vandalised annually.

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