The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) plans to construct 12,000km of power lines by 2035 in the latest push to increase power connectivity in the country.

Ketraco, which is marking its 10th anniversary, said it had completed 2,328km lines while the construction of a total of 2,508km of transmission lines was ongoing.

Managing Director Fernandes Barasa said an extra 4,300km of transmission lines were in the pipeline.

“So far, the company has made a major stride with the successful completion and energisation of the giant 482Km, 400kV/22kV Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line,” said Mr Barasa in an interview.

He said the Mombasa-Nairobi line alone has a transfer capacity of 1,500MW, which is only 200 less than the current national demand that stands at 1,700MW.

According to the Ketraco boss, the capacity of the current line is equivalent to 19 times the capacity of the old line built in 1969 whose capacity back then was 80MW.

Some of the ongoing lines include the 617km, 500kV HVDC Ethiopia–Kenya line; the 100km, 400kV Kenya–Tanzania line; and the 300km, 400kV Olkaria–Lessos–Kisumu line. The National System Control Centre is in the procurement stage.

Statistics, Barasa said, showed that consumers had been spared approximately Sh3.6 billion annually from the reduced fuel cost component in individual bills since thermal power generation plants at the Coast were switched off.

This will add to the annual savings of Sh1 billion, which is Sh250 million from Lamu and Sh750 million from Garissa that materialised when the two regions were connected to the grid by switching off the stand-alone generators

“These developments will provide accelerated opportunities for investors and additional investment in power such as the generation of solar, wind, geothermal, coal and gas sources,” Mr Barasa said, adding that in future, the Suswa-Isinya transmission line will enable Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi to harness economic power surplus available in different countries throughout the year.

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