French loan to ease Kenya power crisis

power__TheAlieness_GiselaGiardinoThe Nairobi Ring Transmission Project is set to be completed by July 2014. (Image source: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino/Flickr) France has sanctioned a loan of KES 8.3 billion (US$98.1 million) for Kenya to upgrade its power transmission lines and eliminate electricity crisis

Kenyan finance minister Robinson Githae said the loan would help enhance the government’s efforts to distribute electricity to urban and rural areas and eliminate power blackouts by 2014.

A steep increase in demand and the inability of the government to meet the requirements has led to frequent power cuts in Kenya in recent times.

“The financing agreement by the French government through French Development Agency (AFD) for EUR 78.5 million (US$98.33 million) will support the financing of the EUR 146.7 million (US$183.83 million) Nairobi Ring Transmission Project in order to stabilise electricity supply in the country,” said Githae.

“The project is set to be completed by July 2014 as part of plans to enhance electricity supply to Nairobi, which is home to about 10 per cent of the total population,” the minister added.

He said that AFD had already committed an additional EUR 20 million (US$25.06 million) of savings for the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), which will provide EUR 17.8 million (US$22.3 million), will be another investor in the project. The Kenya Power and 100 per cent government-owned Kenya Electricity Transmission Company have offered EUR 17.8 million (US$22.3 million) and EUR 12.7 million (US$15.93 million) respectively for the project.

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