January 9, 2018 / 6:26 PM / in 2 months

UPDATE 2-Power outage hits Kenyan capital Nairobi, parts of Uganda

(Adds outage in Uganda, more details on Kenya)

NAIROBI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A major power blackout hit Kenya’s capital Nairobi and its central, western and coastal regions on Tuesday, while several parts of neighbouring Uganda also had an electricity outage.

“A technical hitch emanating from our transmission system has led to loss of electricity to parts of the country this evening,” Kenya Power said in a statement.

Kenya Power said engineers were working to identify and rectify the fault as soon as possible.

“The faulty section has been isolated and efforts to restore supply have commenced beginning with Mt. Kenya and Nairobi regions,” it said. The areas affected include parts of Nairobi, Mount Kenya, Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley and Coast regions, the company added.

Residents in towns far from Nairobi such as Isiolo, Nanyuki, Samburu and Eldoret reported power outages.

The company is the country’s sole electricity distributor and the bulk of its power comes from Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).

Kenya Power, which has 6.4 million customers connected to its grid, gets 60 percent of its revenues from industrial consumers in Nairobi and the neighbouring town of Thika.

While the frequency and severity of outages in Kenya has fallen over the years, many firms still run stand-by generators to cope with any supply interruptions, adding to their costs.

Kenya has an installed electricity generating capacity of 2,341 MW, most of it from geothermal and hydroelectric power.

In neighbouring Uganda, Umeme Limited said in a statement a system disturbance had also led to an outage affecting several areas, but did not give exact locations. (Reporting by George Obulutsa and Noor Ali; additional reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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