25 Feb 2021

The National Development, Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC), has today visited the 308km 400/220/132kV Olkaria - Lessos - Kisumu transmission project to assess its progress and acquaint themselves with challenges affecting its implementation with a view to recommending and/or implement appropriate solutions.

The transmission project financed by the Government of Kenya (GoK) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at Ksh. 16 billion will strengthen the link between the South Rift where there exists massive geothermal potential and the Western parts of the grid where demand is fast growing.

The line will evacuate renewable energy from the Geothermal Power Plant at Olkaria, through Lessos, to Kisumu City. It will also supply reliable, affordable, and stable power to the Kisumu Port as well as strengthen the National grid.

The construction of the Olkaria – Lessos Kisumu project is being undertaken in three Lots; lots 1,2 and 3. Lot 1 involves the construction of the 229km 400kV double circuit transmission line from the Olkaria II substation to the Lessos substation. With a rating of 1,200MW, the transmission line’s foundation and erection works are complete.  Stringing works is ongoing for the remaining 38km out of the 229km.

Lot 2 involves the construction of the 79km 220kV double circuit transmission line from the Lessos substation to the Kibos substation and 132kV from Kibos to Kisumu (Mamboleo).

Lot 3 involves the construction of the new 220/132kV Kibos substation and extension of the existing 400/220kV Lessos and 220kV Olkaria II substations. The substation works at Kibos and Olkaria are complete.

Led by PS, State Department, ICT & Innovation Mr. Jerome Ochieng, CBS, the Principal Secretaries commended KETRACO on her efforts towards providing reliable, efficient and effective national electricity transmission and promoting power trade for sustainable socio-economic development.

 “Energy is an enabler of economic, social and political transformation towards a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya. The Government of Kenya is, and will continue protecting wanainchi from high electricity tariffs by financing the capital cost of transmission infrastructures such as the Olkaria – Lessos – Kisumu transmission project. In addition to this, Kibos substation is located near the future Kisumu Special Economic Zone,” said PS Ochieng.

This transmission project and the Africities Conference scheduled for November 2021 will indeed elevate Kisumu City to international Standards,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of Managing Director, FCPA Fernandes Barasa, OGW, KETRACO’s General Manager, Systems Operations and Power Management, Dr. (Eng.) Joseph Siror emphasized the importance of the Olkaria – Lessos – Kisumu transmission project saying that the transmission infrastructure will expand the national grid by injecting additional reliable, stable and effective geothermal power and at the same time, provide links with neighboring countries in order to facilitate regional trade and access to affordable power from these countries.

The project is expected to be completed by end of March 2021.

Kisumu County is currently being supplied by hydropower from Sondu Miriu – Kisumu transmission line and Tororo – Musaga – Lessos – Muhorini interconnector as well as the diesel-powered Muhuroni – Mamboleo line. 

The visit by Principal Secretaries follows a successful one by members of the National Development Implementation Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) on Tuesday 16th February 2021 at 400kV Suswa substation hub. These two Committees were established by the President vide Executive Order No. 1 of 2019 to enhance the coordination and harmonization of the National Government development agenda.