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Govt of Kenya to construct geothermal transmission line

Wednesday, 15 May 2019
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The government of Kenya has envisaged plans to construct a more efficient transmission line to supply geothermal power to the western region. This is being done to save USD 20 million worth of electricity annually, lost through leakages during transportation.

Through the 220 kV/ 400 kV Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu line, western parts of the country will for the first time receive geothermal electricity. The high voltage line will be 300 km long and connect counties in Western Kenya to geothermal power plants in Olkaria, Naivasha. Once complete, the line will save millions that are lost through technical losses in the current 132 kV lines that are overstretched at the moment.

The project is financed by Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is expected for completion by April 2020. The construction has been split into three slots with three companies namely: Kalpataru Group, NARI Group and Sieyuan Electric Company.

The Lot-1 involves construction of a 400 kV line from Olkaria to Lessos (213 km) with a capacity to carry up to 1,200 MW of electricity. Lot-2 runs from Lessos to Kisumu, a distance of 77 km with the 220 kV cable capable of carrying 400 MW of power.

The final lot involves construction of substation extensions at Olkaria, Lessos and Kisumu (Mamboleo), with a new switch yard at Kibos which will be crucial in providing feeders and offering Kisumu County with alternative supply, creating redundancy, hence less downtime.

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