Gov’t begins process of upgrading SGR to electric trains

Nairobi-Mombasa route to have electric trains

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The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has applied for environmental approval from the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) to be allowed to build the transmission line.

Ketraco wants approval to build 12 transmission lines and 14 sub-stations which will provide high-voltage power for use by trains and train stations operating between Nairobi and Mombasa.

Nema has already called for members of the public and other concerned stakeholders to give their views on the project.

The assessment and approval are expected to take about 28 months.

“The proponent, Ketraco, is proposing to construct 12 transmission lines and 14 sub-stations for supply of high voltage power to the Nairobi-Mombasa SGR line and the economic belt along the railway line,” said in a public notice.

The project is capital-intensive, with most of the funding expected to come from the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited (CET).

Ketraco has already received Sh25 billion from CET for the SGR electrification project, with the total project expected to cost at least Sh65 billion.

The project is also expected to consume a significant portion of the power in the national grid, with experts estimating 1000MW - more than a third of the power currently produced in the country.

The development came as three Chinese men were arrested for defrauding the Kenya Railways by cheating the SGR ticketing system.

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