POWER to Study Feasibility of Multiple Projects in Kenya
HAILEY, IDAHO – POWER Engineers Inc., a leading U.S. provider of engineering services for electric transmission and distribution systems, will perform a feasibility study of four high-priority power transmission projects in Kenya. The study is funded by a grant to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
“The funding provided for this project is the single largest grant ever extended by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to Kenya, and the first grant in the past 10 years,”
said Mike Long, POWER Engineers’ Project Manager for the feasibility study. “This grant signifies a move by the United States to open channels of funding for infrastructure projects in Kenya and East Africa.”
The funding comes as several components of Kenya’s electric transmission system are reaching capacity. Demand for electricity is growing at 4.9 percent annually. Generation is expected to increase to 1,332 megawatts from the current 1,172 megawatts by 2005 and KPLC needs to upgrade the country’s transmission system to get the power to the people.
“The project will assess the electric transmission grid and develop feasible improvement options to add the infrastructure required to transfer the generated power from the plants to the communities being served,” said Ron Beazer, POWER Engineers’ Project Technical Coordinator for the feasibility study
In addition, Mr. Beazer added, the study will investigate the benefits of developing or improving transmission interties with neighboring countries Uganda and Tanzania to facilitate the sale and purchase of energy between the countries to minimize the effects of localized drought.
When completed, POWER Engineers’ review and analysis will provide KPLC the information required to prioritize projects and acquire the funding to get them built.
“Key to this study will be an evaluation of the technical and financial aspects of the power transmission projects,” said Mr. Long. “Our team will then take this data to the leading international funding agencies to determine the key hurdles that exist in obtaining funding to construct the projects.”
One component of the technical side of the study is the development of a computer model of the entire KPLC bulk electric transmission system. Potential improvements to the system can then be input to the computer model for evaluation.
“As one of the premier transmission and distribution design firms in the United States, POWER Engineers will use the latest technology on this study to come up with designs that are economically feasible to construct,” said Mr. Beazer.
A KPLC staff engineer will be invited to POWER Engineers’ Hailey, Idaho headquarters to work alongside the project staff to gain an understanding of the equipment and design technologies used on the feasibility study.
“Another key benefit for KPLC will be the U.S. Government’s push to increase the involvement of U.S. based engineering, construction and equipment suppliers in East Africa,” said Mr. Long.
The Kenya Power Transmission Projects Feasibility Study contract gives POWER Engineers exposure to entities such as the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These associations will help POWER Engineers expand its international presence.
“As the private industry sector cools off, it will be very important for us to have some diversification into the projects that are supported through governmental and agency funding,” said Mr. Long.
POWER Engineers, headquartered in Hailey, Idaho, provides consulting engineering services throughout the U.S. and abroad to electric utilities, independent power producers, telecommunications providers and other industries, including high-tech manufacturing, food processing and health care.