Kenya Power has commenced procurement of 195,299 wooden poles for the second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project. Managing director Ben Chumo says the company will buy additional 44,701 concrete poles.
The Sh15 billion World Bank-funded project is fronted by the government under the National Electrification Programme (NEP) and aims to connect 312,500 households to the national grid.
“Implementation of this phase is expected to start later this financial year. We aim to connect over a million new customers every year going forward to achieve the targeted milestones,” said Chumo, adding that the firm’s demand for poles will surge in the short term.
Under the project, Kenya Power will procure prepaid meters, poles, cables, conductors and 1,000 transformers for grid extension, as per the World Bank’s procurement guidelines.
The initial phase of the Last Mile project is ongoing with contractors already mobilised and on the ground. “The work under this phase is being implemented in all the 47 counties by 10 contractors.
This initial phase of the project, earmarked for completion by June 2017, is projected to use a total of 319,203 poles,” said Chumo. Last year, Kenya Power procured 377,000 poles locally, both wooden and concrete, and has spent Sh7.9 billion on poles in the last three years. “We are now buying all our poles locally unlike in the past where we used to import from as far as Brazil, Congo and South Africa,” said the MD.