Kenya Power ready for end of its monopoly

Friday, May 24th, 2024 09:06 | By
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Technicians work on collapsed high voltage electricity transmission pylons from the Kiambere hydroelectric dam in Embakasi district of Nairobi, Kenya January 12, 2022. PHOTOS/REUTERS

Kenya Power Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Siror now says that the utility firm is ready for competition in the power distribution market.

Speaking on a local TV station on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Siror noted that KPLC is ready to welcome new companies to supplement their efforts to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

While defending his stance on breaking the monopoly, Siror explained that various parts of the country are not connected to the grid. The new entrants will therefore help the utility firm to ensure that all parts of the country are lit.

"We are very ready for competition. We see any new entrant not so much as a competitor but as a partner towards ensuring that there is no dark part in this country," Siror stated.

Kenya Power's Managing Director & CEO Joseph Siror. PHOTO/@KenyaPower/ X.
Kenya Power's Managing Director & CEO Joseph Siror. PHOTO/@KenyaPower/ X.

The KPLC CEO asserted that the new companies will complement the utility firm's dedication to ensuring those connected to the grid get reliable power connections.

" For reliability to be there, you must have redundancy, you must have multiple sources of power supplying the same customer," he added.

On April 2, 2024, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) proposed a licence to allow firms to import electricity for sale to consumers or those generating power locally to export to other countries. The draft Energy Electric Power Undertaking Licensing Regulations, 2024 contained the proposal.

“The Authority may, on receipt of an application, grant the applicant any of the following categories of licence; Electricity export/import licence, which shall entitle the holder to export or import electrical energy to or from another country,” the regulator proposed.

However, EPRA's proposal is yet to receive approval.

Demystifying profit margins

At the same time, Siror announced that the company only makes 10 per cent in profits out of the amount it receives from consumers for electricity bills.

He described the low profit margin to losses incurred during the transmitting process.

“Kenya Power operates as a commercial entity but there are those other programmes which the government does by virtue of the recognition of the importance of power and they normally come under the Last Mile scheme,” Siror remarked.

“There is no provision for the cost that one would incur in putting the transformer; it would have come directly from Kenya Power resources," he added.

Energy CS Davis Chirchir appearing befor the National Dialogue Committee.
Energy CS Davis Chirchir appearing befor the National Dialogue Committee. PHOTO/@Kaikainaipaa/X.

However, Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir noted that his ministry has put up measures to help KPLC become a profit-making venture in the next four years.

"Reliability is something we are seriously working on. The other thing that we are working on seriously to improve the performance of Kenya Power is to reduce power loses. We have given Kenya Power a target to bring down the power loses to about 16 per cent within the next 3-4," Chirchir insisted.

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