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Energy CS Chirchir attributes yesterday’s nationwide blackout to transmission overload


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – Energy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Davis Chirchir has attributed Sunday’s countrywide blackout to a transmission overload along the Kisumu-Muhoroni line in the western part of Kenya.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Chirchir indicated that the transmission line, which is designed to carry 80 megawatts, was under pressure from 149 megawatts, which resulted in an overload, causing the nationalwide power outage.

“As a country we are ashamed of the power black out problem that happened yesterday.It was caused by an overload that was witnessed along the Kisumu -Muhuroni line which only carries 80 mega watts.Yesterday the line was carrying 149 Megawatts,” he said.

CS Chirchir stated that the ministry is considering introducing load-shedding on major power lines as a temporary mitigation measure to avoid overloads.

According to Chirchir, the load shedding will make it possible for the construction of the Narok-Bomet alternative line as well as the completion of the Sondu-Ndhiwa line to avoid overloads on the major Kisumu-Muhuroni power line.

“Construction of the Narok-Bomet 132kV and completion of Sondu -Ndhiwa power lines will de-load Kisumu -Muhuroni Chemosit power line to provide stability in South Nyanza and Central Rift regions,” he said.

He revealed that the Sondu-Ndhiwa line will take only six months to be completed, while the Narok-Bomet line will take close to 20 months.

Chirchir noted that the government needs to invest greatly in revamping the electricity transmission system networks to avoid power outages in future.

“The country has not had investments for the power  transmission system networks for over six years.Government waiting for  taxes to build the networks  is what has caused this problem,” he said.

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Chirchir observed that there is an urgent need for the ministry to start load shedding in order to relieve the major lines as a measure to avoid overload and increase capacity.

“We are planing to do load shedding in small pockets of the country where there is constraints to relieve major lines from experiencing overload,” he said.

He, however, noted that the load shedding will cause power rationing in various parts of the country where the lines are more constrained.

“Load shedding will result to power rationing where the lines are constrained. Some Power feeders along the constrained lines  will  be removed in a structural way to avoid interruptions,” he revealed.





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