The African Development Bank is to offer a KES5.8bn loan to the Kenya government to fund the construction of a power transmission line between Rabai (Mombasa) and Isinya (60km from Nairobi), to reduce power shortages in Kenya.

The 450km, 400kV double-circuit line is designed to help the evacuation of power produced in the Mombasa area to Nairobi and ultimately into the national grid.

The loan covers the building of new transmission lines from Isinya to the Embakasi substation in Nairobi.

The loan will also help with funding to erect shunt reactors at Rabai as well as expanding a 19km 220kV double-circuit power line connecting the Rabai and Embakasi substations.

The completion of the transmission line is likely to improve the transfer capacity to roughly 330MW with the possibility of an increase of up to 950MW.

To assist areas that are not completely covered by the national grid with access to power, the government also intends to build 33 new diesel power plants.

Plans are also in place to build more electricity plants powered by both solar and wind energy.

Around 24 regions have been selected as areas where the stations will be established, as per a draft rural electrification master proposal.

The Kenyan government has provided tenders for eight of these power plants, according to the proposal being drafted by MVV Decon, a German consulting firm.

The government also proposes to expand a number of power grids in the remaining 177 constituencies, a procedure estimated to cost KES120m over the next five years.

The government proposals outline plans to link one million homes to the national grid at a cost of KES112bn.

By staff writer.