The Lake Victoria Regional Economic Block (LREB) has enormous potential for accelerated industrialization and economic growth. To make this dream a reality, a new strategic power transmission line will feed in reliable, efficient and available energy.
The Olkaria – Lessos – Kisumu transmission line project was energized on June 17, 2021 after verifying its continuity and solidity. The 132 kV double-circuit line section Kibos – Mamboleo went into operation on June 25th, completely connecting the two substations and enabling the flow of 100 MW of electricity from Olkaria to Kisumu.
The new power transmission line to western Kenya will help make the region a competitive production area. The line will stabilize the national power grid and have an impact on the region’s economy.
This will catapult the realization of Vision 2030, the country’s blueprint. The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has steadily pushed ahead with its mandate to expand the national network. The total carriageway width is 60 m for OLK lot 1 and 40 m for lot 2. The Sh18 billion project is jointly funded by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the government.
The LREB within the 14-member district governments is guaranteed industrialization and an improved quality of life for its residents.
The counties that will benefit directly and indirectly from the power line are Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nandi, Siaya, Trans-Nzoia, and Vihiga.
The region’s estimated population of at least 10 million (2019 census), which makes up around 25 percent of Kenya’s total population, has struggled with unreliable power supplies for years.
Half of this population are young people between the ages of 15 and 35, a strong indicator of the region’s economic potential. With a working population whose labor can flow into economically productive activities, the provision of reliable electricity will be an important measure.
This project will provide the seaport in Kisumu with a reliable power supply. The reliable power supply will support special economic zones within the block and create the urgently needed jobs
-The author is the Ketraco managing director.