Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC has started the process of acquiring transformers and smart meters to be installed at boundaries of counties as it seeks to identify regions that are costing it billions of money in stolen electricity.
The utility firm wants to install metering units at boundaries of various counties to track the amount of power it supplies to every county against the consumption it bills.
Kenya Power has advertised the tender to get the metering units in its latest bid to address the perennial challenge of power losses.
“The objective of the project is to ensure that each region/county accounts for the energy supplied in their area of jurisdiction,” says Kenya Power in the tender documents.
“The project will involve establishing a meter mounted on a H-pole concrete structure at the border point of two regions/counties.”
The border metering units include current transformers, voltage transformers and smart readers to monitor electricity usage.
Tender documents show that Kenya Power is targeting all the 47 counties grouped into Western, Nairobi, Mount Kenya and Coast regions with a total of 200 border points.
Kenya Power has around 1,200 feeders of 11KV and 33KV spread in 10 regions and 47 counties.
The project comes on the back of Kenya Power’s system loss, which is made up of both technical and commercial components, having averaged 18.88 percent in the five years to June.
Technical losses occur when electrical energy is dissipated in the process of transmission and distribution while commercial losses are mainly attributed to pilferages, faulty meters and meter tampering.
The regulator has been allowing the state monopoly to pass up to 14.9 percent of the system losses to consumers but this has now been reviewed to 19.9 percent effective July.
Kenya Power managing director Benard Ngugi said in February the firm was realigning its business units and changing operations to make every country to be headed by a county business manager.
He said that staff in each county will be assigned transformers along the feeder lines to address the menace of power theft and delays in connecting new applicants to the grid.
Kenya Power has struggled to cut its debt, reduce operating costs and restore its working capital into positive position even as the expanded grid poses oversight nightmare.
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