Lights on: 250,000 new Kenya Power customers join grid

Utility Kenya Power has expanded its customer base, with a 13.8 percent increase in electricity connectivity for the half-year period up to December 2023.

CEO Dr. (Eng.) Joseph Siror announced on Tuesday that the electricity distributor connected over 250,000 new customers during this period, bringing the total number of power connections across Kenya to just over 9.45 million.

The surge in connectivity comes as Kenya Power implemented a nationwide Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) aimed at expediting meter installations for new customers.

Despite the success, Siror highlighted that 236,924 new connections faced persistent delays due to ongoing court battles related to procurement, illustrating some of the challenges facing the company in its network expansion efforts.

Despite these challenges, Kenya Power remains optimistic about its future growth prospects. Dr Siror expressed confidence that the availability of meters has improved and set ambitious targets, aiming to connect an additional 400,000 new customers by the end of the current financial year and an additional 4 million by 2030.

To achieve these targets, Kenya Power is relying on the implementation of various projects, including the Last Mile Connectivity Project (LMCP), which has been instrumental in expanding electricity access in rural and underserved areas.

The LMCP, funded by the government and development partners such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), AFD, European Union (EU), European Investment Bank (EIB), and JICA, has already connected 1,431,423 customers to the grid.

Looking ahead, Kenya Power is gearing up for the rollout of Phase 4 of the LMCP, which is financed by AFD/EU and EIB. This phase aims to connect an additional 280,000 customers across 32 counties within one-and-a-half years, further expanding access to electricity in the country.

Read also: BasiGo eyes 200 electric buses deal for Rwanda’s green future

AfDB in powering electricity access in Kenya

In August 2023, the AfDB reported the successful completion of the second phase of the LMCP in Kenya, which ran from 2016 to 2022. This initiative was instrumental in providing access to electricity for over 1.6 million people across the country.

With funding amounting to $134.64 million from the AfDB, the project facilitated the extension of approximately 18,000 kilometres of low-voltage lines, enabling the connection of 322,279 households and small businesses to the national grid.

Furthermore, AfDB’s project’s implementation included the awarding of contracts worth approximately $9.07 million to local electricity suppliers, stimulating economic activities in the country.

The LMCP has been a huge step in Kenya’s efforts to expand access to electricity, particularly in rural and underserved areas. By providing reliable electricity access to over a million people, the project has not only improved the quality of life for many but has also contributed to economic development and growth in these communities.

The success of this project underscores the importance of strategic partnerships and investments in infrastructure to address energy poverty and promote sustainable development in Kenya and across Africa.

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