New bid to improve city power supply

Sunday March 03 2019

The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has commissioned the construction of a new power line that will offer an alternative path for power into the Nairobi Metropolitan region.

The Nairobi Ring Associated Sub-stations project involves the construction of four sub-stations to increase transformation capacity and removing load from the existing overloaded substations.


The project, according to Managing Director Fernandes Barasa, involves building 220/66kV capacity sub-stations in Isinya, Kimuka (Ngong), Athi River and Malaa areas.

“The Nairobi Ring project will offer an alternative supply path for power into the Nairobi Metropolitan region and increase transformation capacity removing load from the existing overloaded substations,” Mr Barasa told the Nation in an interview.

The project is Ketraco’s solution to the ever-growing demand for electricity in the Nairobi metropolis. It involves the strengthening the Kenyan grid by creating a ring around the Nairobi agglomeration, on the one hand, by reinforcing the existing grid that bypasses the agglomeration by the east, and by building a 400kV line that will bypass it by the west, on the other hand.


The latter line, initially operated at 220kV, will form the backbone of the future 400kV regional grid linking Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Mr Barasa said completion of the project will increase reliability of power supply and create an attractive climate for investors thus spurring growth and employment.


“It is expected it will improve uninterrupted supply in Nairobi metropolis and encourage the social and economic development of the city and the country,” he said.

The release of energy generated by geothermal power plants in Olkaria, the wind farm at Lake Turkana and thermal power stations near Mombasa and the long-term interconnection of Ethiopia and Tanzania is part of the East Africa Power Pool.

The Suswa-Isinya line will link the Olkaria plants to the national grid from the Coast to the rest of Kenya and neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Nairobi previously received power from the Tana River Hydro Power Stations through various transmission lines to Juja and Dandora sub-station and the Embakasi station, all located on the eastern side of the capital.

The city was also connected to Jinja (Uganda) through the long 132kV line through Lessos and also to Rabai substation — all to Juja substation.

In 2004, the capital city was connected to Olkaria using a line from Olkaria through Nairobi North to Dandora.