Geothermal power on Monday got an alternative route to Nairobi in a move to improve power supply redundancy.
Ministry of Energy Cabinet Secretary, Hon Charles Keter commissioned a 7km underground 220kV cable running from Athi River to Embakasi through Nairobi National Park.
Run by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO), the cable will offer an alternative power route and additional capacity to Nairobi from Olkaria thus greatly improving the reliability and availability of power in the city.
Speaking during the commissioning, CS Keter emphasized the importance of the line that include achieving grid stability and reliability hence creating an attractive environment for investors in the region. This, according to Keter, will spur economic growth as well as create employment, which is in line with the government’s Big Four Agenda.
“The line will provide an alternative means of power supply to Nairobi and its surroundings as well as reduce the cost of power through reduction of transmission losses, “ said CS Keter.
According to KETRACO Chairman, Eng James Rege, the cable is a landmark for the Power Transmission Company and the power industry in the region.
“Although the project has faced numerous challenges, including multiple vandalism incidences, we are glad the first cable in the region is now complete and for the first time a physical ring around Nairobi metropolis is a reality,” he said.
This 7km underground cable was necessary because it falls within the National Park as well as the flight path area.
The underground cable will act as a bridge through which two major projects (Mombasa-Nairobi and Suswa-Isinya) get access to Nairobi City and connect the biggest cities in the country with Olkaria geothermal fields.