22 Feb 2021

The National Development Implementation Communication Cabinet Committee on Tuesday 16th February toured Kenya’s Electricity Transmission hub, Suswa Substation Complex; which hosts the largest converter station in Africa.

The projects inspections tour was intended to acquaint the Cabinet Committee on major milestones undertaken by government in the energy sector.

The visit by the Cabinet Committee unearthed massive progress of major electricity transmission projects being undertaken to ensure availability of efficient, reliable and available electricity supply to the country and the region pursuant to the Big-4 agenda.

Suswa substation , a grand transmission plant owned and managed by electricity transmission giant, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO), is the most significant electricity ‘connection point’ in Kenya and a key ‘interconnection point’ within the region.

The substation sits on a 300-acre piece of land and serves as a connection point for six (6) double circuit transmission lines. The Lines are:

  1.        220kV Olkaria II – Suswa line
  2.        220kV Olkaria 1AU – Suswa line
  3.        220kV Olkaria IV – Suswa line
  4.        220kV Suswa – Nairobi North line
  5.        400kV Suswa – Isinya line (currently operated at 220kV)
  6.        400kv Loiyangalani – Suswa line (currently operated at 220kV)

The substation operates at three different voltage levels: 500kV HVDC, 400kV and 220kV. The lines are for grid stabilization, transmission line extension and regional power interconnection.

Already the 220kV station is energized and operational. The construction of the mega 500kV converter station is complete and pre-commissioning tests are currently ongoing.

Cabinet Secretaries Hon. Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Hon. Charles Keter expressed satisfaction with KETRACO’s commitment to concluding tests ahead of the official project commissioning planned for April 2021.

“Energy will play a critical role in achieving the Big 4 Agenda initiatives,” said Health CS Hon.  Kagwe.

CS Omamo said, “upon energization of the project, the Country’s power grid will improve in terms of stability efficiency and reliability.’’

CS Hon. Keter commended the incredible works at the converter station acknowledging that the facility which will convert DC power to AC is the first in the region.

“Suswa Hub is a game changer in electricity transmission in the region. The hub is projected to be a connection point to Ethiopia through the ongoing 500kV HVDC line and Tanzania through the Isinya – Arusha line,” noted CS Hon. Keter.

KETRACO Managing Director, FCPA Fernandes Barasa emphasized the importance of Suswa hub saying it connects a number of transmission line projects bearing different electricity voltage capacities with the 500kV HVDC Ethiopia-Kenya Transmission Line having a capacity of 2000MW.

The system at Suswa provides for three spare bays for future transmission lines at 220kV and 400kV. The substation connects to Nairobi through Isinya to Embakasi and Nairobi North and to Mombasa through Isinya to Rabai.