Kenya Power moves to cut costly outages with Sh2.3b live line laboratory

Kenya Power outsources live-line services. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Kenya Power is set to have control over costly outages in the country after launching a Sh2.3 billion live line laboratory.

This makes Kenya the first country in East and Central Africa to deploy the use of live-line technology which facilitates the maintenance of the high and medium voltage networks without switching off customers.

Kenya Power said the laboratory, supported by the World Bank, will be used to test and certify the equipment used in its regular maintenance programme. 

Live line tools such as rubber gloves, link sticks, line hose tester and insulating blankets are required to be tested every six months or when the need arises while trucks are tested annually to ensure the safety of employees using them.

Of the Sh2.3 billion, Sh340 million went into the construction and equipment of the lab while the rest was used for the procurement of live-line tools. 

Kenya Power acting managing director Geoffrey Muli said that the firm has been outsourcing live line services at a cost of Sh36 million annually.

 "Based on an estimated outage cost of Sh250,000 per shutdown."

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