Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Nationwide blackout in Kenya after powerline collapse

Kenya Power is the country’s sole electricity distributor and the bulk of its power comes from Kenya Electricity Generating Company.

• January 11, 2022
Kiambere hydroelectric dam
Kiambere hydroelectric dam

Kenya experienced a power outage, the third of its kind in four years, after a power line linking the capital city of Nairobi to a hydroelectric dam went offline.

Kenya Power said the outage on its grid happened after towers supporting the high voltage power line linking Nairobi to the Kiambere hydroelectric dam collapsed.

“We have lost power supply due to collapsed towers on Kiambere – Embakasi high voltage transmission power line at 10:45 a.m. (0745 GMT) this morning,” Kenya Power said in a statement on its Twitter account.

The company did not say what had caused the transmission line collapse, nor did it release an estimate on how long repairs would take.

The outage, which was reported around 10:45 a.m., lasted about four hours before being restored to parts of the country after repair works by the Kenya Power engineers.

Reuters reports that power had been restored to all parts of the country except Kitui, Mwingi and Garissa which it expected to reconnect supply by 6:00 p.m.

Kenya Power is the country’s sole electricity distributor and the bulk of its power comes from Kenya Electricity Generating Company.

The power outage on Tuesday comes barely two weeks after the state-controlled utility firm and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company restored power transmission from 310.25-megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power on Loiyangalani line to the Suswa substation which had collapsed in December.

This led to power rationing in some parts of the country, including Nairobi, while repairs carried on. 

In December, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive to Kenya Power to reduce the price of electricity, with a 15 per cent cut in costs for December 2021 and as further 15 per cent reduction for the first quarter of 2022.

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