30-DAY NEGOTIATION

Electrical Workers Union call off planned strike at Kenya Power

Electrical Workers Union agree to 30-day negotiation with Energy Ministry, Kenya Power Management.

In Summary

• The union has agreed to a 30-day negotiation with the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Power Management.

• They were protesting board interference in the company's management, the Safaricom Smart Grid proposal which the union say favours the Telco and delays in putting Kenya Power staff on permanent contracts.

The Electricity Workers Union has called off their planned strike at Kenya Power.
The Electricity Workers Union has called off their planned strike at Kenya Power.
Image: FILE

The Electrical Workers Union has called off their planned strike at Kenya Power.

The union has agreed to a 30-day negotiation with the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Power Management.

They were protesting board interference in the company's management, the Safaricom Smart Grid proposal which the union say favours the Telco and delays in putting Kenya Power staff on permanent contracts.

In the Smart Grid proposal, the communications firm commits to helping the power utility firm cut system losses by eight per cent, translating to Sh10.4 billion, considering that a percentage of the system is equal to Sh1.3 billion. 

A smart grid is an electrical grid with automation, communication and information technology systems that can monitor power flows from points of generation to points of consumption and control the power flow or curtail the load to match generation in real-time.

The proposal is coming hot just weeks after an investigative series by the Star revealed that the power distributor is incurring at least Sh18 billion in system losses every year. 

Safaricom says its smart meter initiative is worth Sh31.7 billion on the Build Operate Own model Transfer (BOOT) model will help the power utility firm drive efficiency, lead to revenue growth and improve customer experience.

In the proposal, Safaricom is pledging to deliver smart meters; a two-way communication network for data flow; an advanced (vendor agnostic) meter management platform; a centralized management and control system.

Others are control centres, and data analytics to increase billing efficiency by reducing energy pilferage and provide management insights for speedy decision making.

This will be completed within a period of 24 months and operated for a further six years.

The proposal envisages  KPLC will finance and install meters for the third phase, leveraging on the infrastructure that will have been deployed in the initial phases.

If implemented, this solution is expected to result in a turnaround of Kenya Power’s current financial position by reducing energy losses.

In addition, it will improve the collection, increase business operational efficiency, and enhance cost efficiency.

The first phase will cover an energy distribution area of approximately 6,200 smart meters (consumer, transformers and feeders) in areas adjacent to Mombasa Road and Industrial Area, in Nairobi County.

In this phase, Safaricom will provide pre-financing of approximately Sh600 million to be reimbursed by KPLC upon technical delivery of this first phase.

Transfer of title of the smart meters shall occur on full settlement of the costs.

This phase will be executed within a period of nine–months. It will be followed by a three-month period to measure the benefits realized.

In the second phase, Safaricom shall supply and install 330,300 smart meters, comprising all transformer meters (approximately 73,000); 1,300 feeders; and, the first 256,000 smart meters for customers consuming more than 200 power units per month. 

This will be completed within a period of 24 months and operated for a further six years.

The proposal envisages  KPLC will finance and install meters for the third phase, leveraging on the infrastructure that will have been deployed in the initial phases.

If implemented, this solution is expected to result in a turnaround of Kenya Power’s current financial position by reducing energy losses.

In addition, it will improve the collection, increase business operational efficiency, and enhance cost efficiency.

Edited by D Tarus