January 10, 2018 / 6:51 AM / in 9 months

Power restored in parts of Kenyan capital after major outage

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Electricity was restored in parts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi and its central, western and coastal regions early on Wednesday after a major power blackout the previous day.

A transmission system problem caused the widespread outages on Tuesday evening, Kenya Power said in an earlier statement. The areas affected included parts of Nairobi, Mount Kenya, Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley and Coast regions, according to the company.

It said on Twitter overnight that power had been restored in parts of the capital, though on Twitter on Wednesday morning people still reported outages in some neighbourhoods.

Power was also back on in parts of the Rift Valley and most of the Western and Coast regions, Kenya Power said on Wednesday.

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 interruptions.

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

In neighbouring Uganda, Umeme Limited, the country’s sole power distributor, said outages late on Tuesday caused by the Kenyan transmission system failure had been addressed.

“Because our distribution infrastructure is interlinked, when the Kenya side blacked out it also affected us,” spokesman Stephen Ilungole told Reuters. He said Umeme disconnected from the Kenyan system, restarted its system independently, and “quickly restored power to all areas.”

Reporting By Maggie Fick; Additional reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Mark Potter

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