Kenya Needs $500 Million for Electricity Grid by 2014

Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, needs to invest $500 million by 2014 to upgrade and expand its electricity grid to reduce power cuts, said Patrick Nyoike, permanent secretary in the energy ministry.

The government has already raised 16 billion shillings ($199 million), which it has given to the Kenya Power & Lighting Ltd., the nation’s sole electricity distributor, Nyoike said. Additional funds will be raised from the company’s rights offer, which begins today, he told reporters in Nairobi, the capital.

KPLC, as the company is known, will raise about 9.1 billion shillings through its capital reorganization, Managing Director Joseph Njoroge said on Nov. 19.

The company is converting preference stock to ordinary shares, issuing new shares and splitting its stock, increasing the number of its shares to 1.73 billion from 79.13 million.

Upgrading the power distribution system will increase per capita consumption of electricity to 300 kilowatt hours per year from 144 kilowatt hours, Nyoike said. Kenya currently has an average of 6,000 power cuts per month, he said.