Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO)

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About Company

We plan, design, construct, own, operate and maintain the nation’s high voltage electricity transmission grid and regional power interconnectors.

Our transmission infrastructure is reinforcing and upgrading the power system towards increasing electricity access throughout the country as well as promoting power exchange and trade in the East Africa region.

KETRACO was incorporated on 2nd December 2008 and registered under the Companies Act, Cap 486 pursuant to Sessional Paper No. 4 of 2004 on Energy. We are a 100% Government owned state corporation, regulated under the State Corporations Act, Cap 446.

Our mandate is to plan, design, construct, own, operate and maintain the high voltage electricity transmission grid and regional power interconnectors that form the backbone of the National Transmission Grid.

Since inception, we have made concerted efforts at strengthening and extending the national power transmission grid to enhance the quality, reliability and security of electricity supply in Kenya.

Vision

Stable Power Grid that will Transform Lives in the Region and Beyond

Mission

To provide a stable electricity grid and facilitate power trade for sustainable socio-economic
development

Mandate

To plan, design, construct, own, operate and maintain high voltage electricity transmission grid and regional power interconnectors.

As a public sector institution, we are dedicated to utilizing the best practice and provision of high quality professional services to our customers. The guiding principles in the operations of the company are

Our History

Creation of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited was necessitated by the desire of the Government to transform power transmission into open access system to allow large electricity customers to purchase power from generators.

With future interconnections of Kenya’s electricity grid with Ethiopia, Tanzania and other Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) countries, and strengthening of the interconnection with Uganda through the Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries Electric Grids Interconnection Project (NELSAP), the Government views open access as having potential to enhance market and supply options for both power generation and large consumers.

Creation of the company also aimed to shield electricity consumers from higher tariffs in future arising from construction of this expensive power transmission infrastructure. Projects undertaken are fully funded by the Government and concessional loans with no capital related expenses being passed on to the consumer, thus improving power quality, supply and affordability.

When KETRACO was established, the existing transmission network comprised of 1,331km of 220kV, 2,211km of 132kV lines and was interconnected with Uganda through a 132kV double circuit line.

The then transmission system capacity was severely constrained particularly during peak hours when system voltages in parts of Nairobi, Western and Mount Kenya regions drop below acceptable levels, occasioning load shedding despite availability of generation capacity in other parts of the country, particularly in the Coast and Seven Forks. The problem was partly due to inadequate power in major load centers and transmission constraints particularly in the Western and Nairobi regions. Many parts of the network were not designed to the level of redundancy required to comply with the desired N-1 criteria for adequate reliability.

In carrying out our mandate, we are developing a robust grid system in order to:

  • Improve quality and reliability of electricity supply throughout the country
  • Transmit electricity to areas that are currently not supplied from the national grid
  • Evacuate power from planned generation plants
  • Provide a link with the neighboring countries in order to facilitate power exchange and develop electricity trade in the region
  • Reduce transmission losses that cost the country heavily every year
  • Reduce the cost of electricity to the consumer by absorbing the capital cost of transmission infrastructure

The size of transmission network (400kV, 220kV and 132kV) is currently approximately 6,294KM of which 2,364 km (37.5%) is owned by KETRACO. This includes 963kms of 132kV lines, 381km of 220kV lines and 1,020km of 400kV.

Overview

Electricity transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation for eventual use by consumers. Due to the large amount of power involved and the properties of electricity, transmission normally takes place at high voltage (above 132kilovolts) to reduce losses that occur over long distances.

At the substation, the high voltage Electricity is converted to lower voltages suitable for consumer use, and then transmitted to end users through relatively low-voltage electricity distribution lines that are owned and operated by the national electricity utility.

KETRACO’s transmission projects fall into four broad categories based on their specific objectives namely:

  1. System strengthening projectsThe System Strengthening/Capacity Enhancement Projects aim at improving transfer capacity of electrical energy and address the challenge of low voltages, high transmission losses, unreliability of supply and network security.
  2. Power evacuation projectsThese target the evacuation of power from various generation plants for injection into the national grid.
  3. Regional interconnectorsThe interconnector projects target facilitation of power trading with neighbouring countries.
  4. Electricity access projectsThe main objective of this category of projects is to increase electricity access and address the challenges of low access and connectivity.

Eastern Africa Power Pools

Regional Interconnectors

The purpose of regional power interconnectors is to facilitate regional power trade through the access of cheaper power from, and export of excess power to neighbouring countries. The first regional power interconnection between Kenya and a neighbouring country was done in 1955; the Kenya-Uganda 132kV line which connected the power generation at the Owen Falls Hydroelectric power station with the load centres in Kenya, traversing through Tororo, Musaga, Lessos, Lanet and Nairobi.

Currently, we are engaged in the construction of four new regional power interconnector projects:

Kenya-Uganda Interconnector

Also known as the Lessos-Tororo transmission line, this project with a capacity of 1,200MW linking Kenya to Uganda, and further to Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern part of DR Congo. This new Kenya-Uganda link is expected to increase the power transfer capacity between the two countries to 350MW.

Kenya-Ethiopia Power interconnection

A 1045km long 500kV DC transmission line with a power transfer capacity of 2,000MW is at an advanced stage of implementation. The line, with 612km in Kenya, originates from Welayta Sodo in Ethiopia and terminate at Suswa in Kenya.

Kenya-Tanzania Power Interconnection

This interconnection starts from our Isinya substation south of Nairobi and passes through Arusha before terminating at Singinda in Tanzania. It is will be operated at 400kV and have a power transfer capacity of at least 1600MW.

Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) Power Interconnection

The project which is being implemented under the umbrella of the Nile Basin Initiative will add a new 220kV line from Lessos to Bujagari Hydropower station in Uganda and also interconnect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kenyan transmission line component is to be constructed at 400kV rating.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited,
Kawi Complex, Block B,
Popo Lane, Off Red Cross Road, South C ,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited,
P. O. Box 34942 – 00100
Nairobi, Kenya.
(+254) 20-4956000, (+254) 20-4956000
(+254) 719 018000, (+254) 732 128000, (+254) 732 128000
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