Kenya Power Announces Staggering Amount it Lost Through Transformer Vandalism in 2023

May 23, 2024

Kenya Power faced significant challenges in 2023 due to rampant vandalism, resulting in the loss of 365 transformers valued at Sh328 million. Each transformer, on average, costs Sh898,630 and contains valuable components such as a special oil that remains stable at high temperatures and serves as an ideal insulator.

The power distributor also reported losing an additional 78 transformers worth Sh78 million this year, adding to the 76 transformers valued at Sh68 million that were vandalized between May and December 2022.

The impact of vandalism extends beyond transformers, affecting other public infrastructure like power lines and road guard rails. These stolen parts often end up at scrap metal dealers or are smuggled out of the country.

Kenya Power’s managing director, Joseph Siror, highlighted a troubling correlation between vandalism and the copper waste business. Following the end of a five-month ban on scrap metal dealerships in late 2022, there was a noticeable increase in vandalism cases. “Our investigations have revealed a direct link between vandalism and the copper waste business. For example, between January and May 2022, when the government banned scrap metal dealing, we had zero cases of vandalism,” said Siror.

Despite efforts to mitigate these incidents, the lifting of the moratorium on scrap metal dealerships saw a spike in vandalism, with 76 transformers worth Sh68 million vandalized between May and December 2022. In response, Siror called for a renewed total ban on copper exports and stricter regulations for scrap metal dealers to disclose their sources of copper and aluminum.

To combat this menace, Kenya Power has been implementing several measures.

These include welding transformer bases on channels, installing transformer cages, raising the height of high voltage lines, installing alarm systems on transformers, and filling oil-type transformers with aluminum to deter vandalism. Additionally, the utility company is exploring the use of intelligent gathering as part of broader efforts to curb this issue and reduce further losses.

Don't Miss