Thursday, 9 May 2013

Kisumu’s Sh5.6b Power Project Ready

thepeople Kisumu’s Sh5.6b Power Project Ready
Sondu Miriu Phase two project which is awaiting official commissioning. Photo by Dickson odhiambo
When an idea was mooted to have the first ever electricity generating power project in West Nyakach Division of Kisumu County in 1998 the local community did not fully understand the benefits. To the local community who had not had electricity in their homes, the idea of constructing the project known as Sondu Miriu hydro power under the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen)was a godsend.

The Sondu Miriu hydropower Station Chief Engineer Alfred Abiero say the actual construction on the new project begun in mid 1998. Abiero says a number of things had to be done in order to pave way for the major civil works to be carried out under the supervision of the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).
Upon the completion of the Sondu/ Miriu hydropower station in 2006, it begun operations in 2007 and in early 2009 the then Parliamentary Committee on Energy toured the area before immediate former President Mwai Kibaki commissioned it on July 24, of the same year. Since then the residents of the area at the nation at large have been enjoying power from the plant, which contributes 60 megawatts to the national grid.
Engineer Abiero says immediately after its commission, another idea was again mooted to have an additional hydroelectric power project just some few kilometers to the then newly commissioned power plant so as to help in the production of electricity using the water which were being released from the Sondu Miriu power station with an aim of minimising water waste.
“As part of the Sondu/ Miriu hydropower station, there is a new Power Plant that has been recently constructed under the second phase which is part and parcel of the Sondu Miriu as its cascades,” he says. Kengen Regional Manager in charge Western Kenya Hydros Frank Konuche says the new Sang’oro hydropower project in West Nyakach Division in Kisumu County is set to give an additional 21.2 megawatts to the national grid.
Konuche says the new hydroelectric power project, which has since been completed will give an additional 21.2 megawatts to the current 60 megawatts from Sondu Miriu hydroelectric power supply thus adding up to 81.2 Megawatts to the national grid. Speaking to Development Agenda, Konuche says the civil works and other major works’ have been completed hence awaiting official commissioning by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Konuche says the project which is phase two of the recently commissioned Sondu Mirui is currently tested and has started to generate electricity that is fed into the Sondu Mirui hydropower project transmission line for an onward use in the country. Konuche says the project has a run of- river type power station as one of the features.
Nipon Koea Construction Company from Japan won the tender for the construction of the Sh5.6 billion project funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The Sang’oro hydroelectric power project is the phase two of the Sondu Miriu hydroelectric, which is a 60 megawatts power plant. Engineer Konuche says the new power station has a small transmission line, which joins the Sondu Miriu one after which the power is now evacuated to Kisumu’s Mamboleo KenGen power sub-station.
The Chief Engineer of the Sondu Miriu hydro power project Alfred Abiero says apart from reconstruction of schools, they have also constructed water bore holes and 18 water kiosks to various residents within the two counties who resides within the jurisdiction of the power project, which is now benefitting a total of 31,500 people. He says that a total of Sh147 million has been used towards the water project to the locals as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

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