The Kenyan government has awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to a Chinese energy firm to build a 220/66kV Gas Insulated Switchgear GIS substation that will boost the power supply to the capital city of Nairobi.
The $130 million project to be undertaken by Tebian Electric Apparatus TBEA, is being funded through the Export Import Bank of China through a 20-year concessional loan.
It is part of the Nairobi City Centre Network Upgrade and Reinforcement Project aimed at improving the flexibility of the power distribution system in the city.
"In the past five years, the electric utility company, Kenya Power, has invested heavily to enhance its network to improve the quality of power supply to its customers. The commissioning of this GIS substation is part of that investment," said Ken Tarus, managing director and CEO of Kenya Power.
The GIS technology is more reliable and easier to operate and maintain than traditional oil-insulated substations and utilizes less space.
Thus, the newly commissioned substation will boost the quality of the power supply, while reducing maintenance costs and lowering the risks that come with overhead cables, such as vandalism.
The Guangdong-based electric power transformation and transmission equipment manufacturer entered the East African market in 2009 in a bid to tap into Kenya's unexploited potential in power production.
It ventured into a partnership with a local energy firm and planned to invest $6 million on power generation and transmission in the region.