The Kenya Transmission Company (KETRACO) has started construction of high voltage Olkaria-Lessos –Kisumu transmission line that would evacuate 500 Kilovolts (KV) geothermal energy to the Western Kenya region.
According to a senior official from KETRACO, Charles Oguoko, the Olkaria high voltage line would evacuate 500 Kilovolt (KV) of power to be stepped down to 220 KV in Lessos in Nandi before being stepped further to 132 KV in Kibos sub-station in Kisumu town.
Speaking in the company of the Nyanza Regional Commissioner (RC), James Kianda, the Kisumu County Commissioner (CC), Abdi Hassan and Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) regional Director, Truphosa Awour during the assessment of transmission line route, Oguoko said Sh4 billion has been set aside for acquisition of way leave.
“The project is being funded by Japanese International Development Agency (JICA) and the National government and the funds will be used for way leave acquisition to compensate for land, structures, trees and crops falling within the transmission line corridor,” he added.
Oguoko said this would open up several areas in the Western region that had hitherto not been accessed by the National grid and help address the problem of power outages that have been commonplace in the region.
Kianda said already, a majority of individuals within the transmission corridor have been compensated and appealed to those who have not formalized their agreements to move with speed and reach out to the Company.
“This project is of great importance to the country and I wish to appeal to farmers and individuals in Kibos and Mamboleo to reach out to KETRACO for compensation since the project is set to commence in Kisumu County starting next week,” he added.
Kianda said out of the 15 sugar plantation owners in Kisumu County where the power line is traversing, 10 farmers had already agreed for compensation and talks were underway to have the remaining five to follow suit.
The RC who is also the chair of the Nyanza Regional Development Implementation and Coordination Committee and Security committee, said the contractor was set to move to the site next week adding that Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) has been established Kibos to enhance security.
The Works on the line involve construction of an approximately 213 kms, 500 KV transmission line from Olkaria- Lessos sub-station, construction of approximately 100kms of 220 KV from Lessos to Kisumu and interconnection line of approximately 3.5 km of 132 KV Kisumu East substation in Kibos to the existing 132 KV Kisumu substation at Mamboleo.
Oguoko said the Olkaria-Lessos is 60 per cent complete while works on the Lessos-Kisumu route would start next week and be completed by April 2020.
These projects will see the grid stabilize and cost of power brought down, according to KETRACO.
By George Kaiga