The second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity project will commence after African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a USD 135-million loan to launch the energy project that is expected to benefit a minimum of 300,000 customers in Kenya. The credit will be used to provide electricity to approximately 1.5 million people mainly from low income groups and small businesses located near existing distribution transformers.
The AfDB-supported initiative aims at helping the Kenya’s government and Kenya Power meet this increased demand by expanding the country’s distribution network through the extension of the low-voltage network from existing distribution transformers to reach households located within a 600-metre diameter.
It (AfDB) will also pre-finance low-voltage lines extensions and connection costs, including meters, to potential customers. Specifically, phase two of the project that entails the supply of distribution material to reach 300,000 new connections, construction of low-voltage distribution lines, supervision and management, and capacity-building activities in targeted areas of expertise.
Alex Rugamba, AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department Director, stated, “The AfDB has been playing a leading role in financing and attracting financing for capital intensive energy-related infrastructure projects in the region. It will continue to maintain this momentum by promoting the spirit of its New Deal on Energy for Africa to bring projects which extend the provision of basic infrastructure to those in rural areas, such as the Kenya Last Mile Connectivity project.”
Aligned with the government’s objectives of raising the country’s access rate from the current 53 per cent to 70 per cent by 2017 and 100 per cent by 2020, Kenya Power connected 25 percent more customers during its 2014-2015 financial year than the previous year its largest yearly increase ever recorded. In the current financial year, Kenya Power connected over 1.17 million customers. As of mid-June 2016, Kenya Power registered over 4.7 million customers.
The total project cost of the program, including phase one, which was approved in November 2014, is almost USD 900 million. To date, it is being financed by the AfDB, Government of Kenya and the World Bank Group.