Kenya Power and Lighting Company has invited prequalification bids for a viability study on building a local transformer manufacturing plant to help meet the country's growing demand for power.
Kenya's sole power distributor said it expected a sharp increase in demand for transformer equipment as east Africa's largest economy moved to increase connectivity in rural areas.
There is regular power failure owing to insufficient electricity generation capacity and a dilapidated transmission network. Business leaders have blamed the power outages for stunting economic growth.
KPLC estimates less than 20% of Kenya's population is wired up to the grid. In rural areas, the number falls to around 5%, it said.
The company plans to upgrade and expand its network over the next four years at a cost of about $500-million.Last month, it raised 9.8-billion shillings in a rights issue aimed at upgrading the national grid.