The government has commisioned the 220kV Athi River-Embakasi underground cable.
The first of its kind cable was commisioned by Energy CS Charles Keter on Monday at the Embakasi Substation. It is expected to serve as an alternative means of power supply from Olkaria to Nairobi and its environs, and greatly improve the reliability and availability of power in the city.
The cable, which passes through the Nairobi National Park, will act as a bridge through which two major projects (Mombasa-Nairobi and Suswa-Isinya) get access to Nairobi and connect the biggest cities in Kenya with the Ol Karia geothermal fields.
Officials said an underground cable that runs a total of seven kilometers out of the 100km 220kV ring was necessary since it falls within the National park as well as in the flight path area. It was also necessary to preserve the Park’s aesthetics.Speaking during the commissioning, Keter said the line will improve grid stability and reliability which is critical for industrial development as a key enabler of the Big Four Agenda.
Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (KETRACO) Chairman Eng James Rege, who accompanied the CS said the completion, testing, and energization of the underground cable was a landmark for the company and the power industry in the region.
“Although the project has faced numerous challenges including multiple vandalism incidents, we are glad the first such cable in the region is now complete and for the first time, a physical ring around Nairobi metropolis is a reality”, he said.“The project will enhance power reliability in Nairobi especially when our power distribution partner, KPLC complete their 220/60 kV line from Embakasi sub-station to the CBD and other areas around the city,” KETRACO’s Managing Director Fernandes Barasa added.