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Aug 08, 2012

Kenya Power gets $200m from World Bank for grid

Nairobi|Africa|International Finance Corporation|Projects|Southern Africa|Africa|Kenya|USD|Electricity Network Improvement|Jean Philippe Prosper|Joseph Njoroge|Power|East Africa

Kenya Power has secured a $200-million loan from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) to invest in its grid, it said on Wednesday.

The firm is the sole transmission and distribution utility in east Africa's largest economy, where blackouts are common due to generation shortfalls and an ageing grid.

Chief Executive Joseph Njoroge said the first tranche of $50-million, which was received immediately, would be invested in and around Nairobi because "there is compelling and urgent need for electricity network improvement".

"We estimate that implementation of projects to be funded under this financing arrangement will be completed by 2014, thereby bringing the much needed relief to customers such as reduction of outages," he said while signing the deal.

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC's East and Southern Africa Director said Kenya would receive $300-million to $400 million for various projects in the current fiscal year.

Like other African states, the country is required to invest huge sums of money every year to meet growing demand for power, amid robust economic activities.

Kenya Power connected its 2 millionth customer in June this year, under its aim of connecting 200 000 new customers to the grid every year, Njoroge said.

Edited by: Reuters
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