Kitengela, Athi River to be without power on Sunday

Kenya Power

Kenya Power Company technicians carry out repairs to a power transformer. The utility firm says it has been doing repair works on its EPZ sub-station.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

Kitengela, Athi River and their environs will be hit with a scheduled power outage for eight hours on Sunday to pave way for repairs on their power distribution line.

Kenya Power says it has been serving its customers in the area from its Athi River and Syokimau substations after its export processing zone (EPZ) substation broke down.

The company says it will switch off electricity supply to the areas between 9am and 5pm on Sunday to allow it to revert the customers back to being served by their EPZ substation.

Kenya Power says it has been doing repair works on the line including replacement of a faulty gear which had led to erratic supply of electricity to the area which is home to hundreds of large manufacturers.

“Kenya Power has completed repair works on the 66/11kV EPZ sub-station, boosting the stability of supply to EPZ industries, Athi River, Kitengela and its environs. The repair works involved the replacement of a faulty switchgear which had diminished the substation’s capacity to serve customers in the area,” said Kenya Power.

The EPZ is home to hundreds of companies who enjoy fiscal, physical, and procedural incentives to operate from the area to boost productivity and job creation.

The scheduled power outage is, however, set to hit their operations of the companies, many of which operate round the clock which will force them to look for alternative power supply or temporarily halt their operations.

“The commissioning of the EPZ substation is a major milestone in our efforts to stabilize the supply of electricity around Kitengela and its environs. It underscores our commitment to avail quality and reliable power supply to our customers,” said Kenya Power acting Managing Director, Geoffrey Muli.

The company said it has plans to construct a dual 11kV power line linking the EPZ substation to the Lukenya substation to provide an additional alternative source of power supply.

Compensation for unreliable supply

This as power blackouts in Kenya remain high, driven by both planned outages to allow for routine maintenance of the distribution network, and unplanned blackouts.

Official data from Kenya Power shows the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) – that is the average duration each customer was off power supply in a month – stands at 4.03 hours. 

This comes at a time the energy regulator is advancing the development of new regulations that could see Kenya Power pay customers for unreliable electricity supply.

The Draft Electricity (Reliability and Quality of Supply and Quality of Service) Regulations, 2022 compel Kenya Power to compensate customers for unplanned power outages that cause property damage, business loss or death.

The firm will pay affected customers within three months after a claim is determined.