24 Jun 2021

KETRACO has energized the 400/220/132kV Olkaria - Lessos Kisumu transmission project (OLK project) from Olkaria II through Lessos substation to Kibos substation. Currently transmitting at 220kV, the project will facilitate reliable and stable power to the Lake Basin Economic Block Counties that include: Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Kericho, Bomet, Nandi and Vihiga. The project will also strengthen the National Grid and facilitate reliable and stable power supply to Kisumu Seaport.

The transmission line will facilitate power trade between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Lessos substation will be connected to Tororo via the Lessos – Tororo transmission project (Kenya – Uganda interconnector).

Lessos substation upgrade will provide a strong link for power export and import to and from countries of the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) through our 127km 400kV Lessos – Tororo transmission line (Kenya - Uganda interconnector).  

KETRACO Board Chairman Hon. (Capt.) Joe Mutambu, MBS said the Kshs 18 billion transmission project, co-funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Kenya (GoK) will strengthen the link between the Olkaria Complex where there exists massive geothermal energy potential and the Counties within the Lake region of the grid where demand is fast growing.

‘’OLK will compliment GoK’s commitment to increase electricity generation from the current 2708MW as of June 2020 to estimated 5,000MW by the year 2030 and provide cost effective renewable power,’’ noted Capt. Mutambu.

The project has 848 towers and over 5,580km in conductors strung. It has 1,700 hectares of wayleave traversing Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, and Kisumu counties.

The construction of the Olkaria – Lessos Kisumu project was undertaken in three Lots; Lot 1 involved the construction of the 230km, 400kV double circuit transmission line from Olkaria II substation to Lessos substation.

Lot 2 involved the construction of the approximately 70km, 220kV double circuit transmission line from Lessos substation to Kibos substation as well as construction of 9km 132kV double circuit transmission line from Kibos substation to Mamboleo substation.

Lot 3 involved the construction of the new 220/132/33kV Kibos substation and extension of the existing 400/220kV Lessos and 220kV Olkaria II substations.

Construction works for lot 1 was undertaken by KPTL-KINDE JV of India & Japan, NARI-CCCE JV, both of China took charge of lot 2 while SIEYUAN - NIEIE both of China dealt with lot 3. JV of NIPPON KOEI Co. Ltd, Japan and GIBB Africa Ltd, Kenya were the project consultants.

“Energy is an enabler of economic, social, and political transformation towards a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya. Energy is critical to the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Big 4 Agenda which seeks to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing middle-income Country providing a high quality of life to its entire citizenry,’’ said Capt. Mutambu.

This transmission project will be ideal as an enabler during the forthcoming Africities Conference scheduled for November this year and will indeed elevate Kisumu City to international Standards,” he added.  

Fibre optic cable strung along the transmission line will promote broadband connectivity in areas it traverses as some areas are currently served by narrowband microwave connectivity, thus enabling faster connectivity to voice, data, and video services like e-health, e-learning, security surveillance, and other government digital services.

KETRACO Managing Director, FCPA Fernandes Barasa, OGW noted that with the injection of reliable power, there will be an upsurge of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) within the block and create the much-needed opportunities for jobs for the unemployed youths. 

‘’ Industrial Parks and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will attract both local and foreign investments and enhance technology development by industrial parks and innovation and promotion of rural and regional industrialization, ‘’ added FCPA Barasa.

Kisumu County is currently supplied by Sondu Miriu and Sang’oro hydropower plants through the Sondu – Kisumu transmission line and Tororo – Musaga – Lessos – Muhoroni transmission line as well as the diesel-powered Muhuroni – Mamboleo line.