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January 20, 2019

Power import from Uganda hit peak in October, report shows

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) workers are seen at a section of the Olkaria IV Geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, Kenya February 15, 2018. Picture taken February 15, 2018. REUTERS
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) workers are seen at a section of the Olkaria IV Geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, Kenya February 15, 2018. Picture taken February 15, 2018. REUTERS

Kenya spent Sh186.9 million in electricity imports from Uganda in October up from Sh159.6 million in September.

The Sh27.3 million difference in the power import bill from the neighbouring country was the highest in the ten months under review.

According to Ministry of Energy, Kenya enjoys a generation capacity of 2,670 megawatts with a demand of 1,841 MW.

Electricity imports from Uganda rose by 1.3 million kilowatt hours in the month according to recent data by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics despite an increase in power generation by 35.46 megawatts between September and October 2018.

The imports from Uganda hit 8.90 million kWh in October compared to 7.60 kWh recorded in September.

The country spent Sh186.9 million on imports in the month compared to Sh68.46 million earned in sale of power to Uganda.

Total electricity generated from geothermal, hydro and wind power in the month was recorded at 960.15 million kWh from 924.69 million kWh in the same period, and 861.15 million kWh recorded in October 2017.

The import has maintained a consistent decline in the 10 months to October.

The year started off high from 19.04, 18.62 and 11.03 million kWh in January, February and March respectively. It stagnated at the eight-point mark from April to July.

Imports from Ethiopia have been on a standoff since May according to the report.

Electricity exports to Uganda declined marginally by 0.05 million kWh in the period. However, total exports almost tripled in the 10 months to 28.09 million kWh compared to 9.69 million kWh of the same period in 2017.

Low investment in power distribution infrastructure especially the need for thermal plants and transmission lines from Olkaria geothermal grounds to Western region has raised the need for electricity imports from Uganda.

Purchase of electricity from Uganda follows a deal signed in 2014 between the two countries. The pact set the cross-border price at Sh21 per kWh.

The ministry of energy plans to complete the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu line by March. It had stalled due to lack of enough funds .

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