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State agency rejects sub-standard power poles

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Suppliers who have delivered substandard poles to be used for power distribution have been ordered to ensure they meet the set requirements. It is understood that most poles supplied have not been treated to the standards required by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC).

The company says poles worth more than Ksh200 million received at REREC have been ‘poorly treated’ and cannot be used in power distribution. The management and board have called on the affected suppliers to collect the poles and retreat them to the acceptable standards. Proper treatment hardens the poles and ensures longevity of service.

The move is part of management’s efforts to ensure the state corporation procures quality of poles and other power-related supplies.

This emerged during an induction meeting of the board on the operations of the new corporation held in Mombasa. Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) has officially transitioned from Rural Electrification Authority (REA).

Among those who attended the Board induction included REREC Chairman Prof Simon Gicharu, board members George Oner, Bernard Bett, Nixon Ngikor as well as REREC  CEO Peter Mbugua, General Managers and other Heads of departments.

Prof Gicharu announced that with an expanded mandate, the board will need to employ 165 new staff in order to build capacity and strengthen the current position as a corporation.

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Speaking at the event, Mr Gicharu promised to restructure the corporation to reflect its current mandate.  He said Kenya was losing up to Sh300 million annually from acts of vandalism on electrical installations and called on counties to partner with State agencies to eradicate the vice.

Speaking at the event, Prof Gicharu said the electrification agency has earned Ksh431 million in the five months to March from the region’s largest solar power plant in Garissa.

‘We are going heavy on renewable energy for faster electrification of off-grid areas and households.’

Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC), formerly Rural Electrification Authority (REA), sold 28.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) that have helped curb the rise in electricity prices.

The firm says it will earn at least Ksh1 billion in full-year from the sale of solar energy to Kenya Power for onward supply to homes and businesses.

“Garissa power plant has proved to be an exemplary project and it has many environmental advantages and due to that, we shall be investing more on sustainable means of energy production in future,” Prof Gicharu said.

The 54.6 megawatt (MW) plant, the largest in East and Central Africa, started injected power to the grid and has helped cut reliance on expensive thermal power with drop in use of cheaper hydro power following the dry weather. “We are going heavy on renewable energy for faster electrification of off-grid areas and households,” Prof Gicharu said.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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