The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is only waiting for the finalization of regulations to enforce the Energy Act so that it can begin selling electricity direct to consumers and end the century long distribution monopoly enjoyed by Kenya Power.
KenGen Managing Director Rebecca Miano said plans are at the the final stage to begin selling directly to the large power consumers.
“The Energy Act 2019 has provision for us to sell power directly especially to large consumers. What is pending are the regulations of how that would be undertaken and how the infrastructure would be based. We are certain that when the regulations are ready, that possibility will be there,” Miano said.
KenGen is eyeing large customers which account for more than 50% of Kenya Power’s revenues but are fast shifting into cheap solar energy.
The Energy Act in March 2019 was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta but regulations allowing other companies to apply for retail licences have not been set up.
Section 140 of the constitution now compels Kenya Power to provide non-discriminatory open access to its distribution system for use other retailers or eligible consumers but the electricity retailer has not disclosed what it charges.
The law further specifies that the distribution lines will remain the property of Kenya Power but licensee will only pay fees to use the infrastructure.
The Ministry of Energy headed by corrupt Charles Keter will spearhead development of the regulations.
The Ministry has however argued that the alternative distributors of electricity will have to heavily invest in infrastructure which may prove counterproductive in areas already being supplied by the loss making Kenya Power.
KenGen intends to obtain a distribution licence and rely on the network built by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).
“A new power distributor would require new assets and thus there may be expensive duplication of roles,” Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter recently wrote in response to queries over the regulations.
The firm which currently contributes over 70 percent of electric energy has over the time hinted at supplying power beginning with the upcoming industrial park in Olkaria, Naivasha.