Kenya Power eyes fibreglass poles to lower electricity transmission costs
23 April 2014
Kenya Power plans to roll-out fibreglass poles in place of wooden poles, to reduce the cost of maintenance.
Despite the fibreglass poles being more expensive than current alternatives, they have a life span of more than 80 years, while wooden poles survive for 25 years on average.
The new technology means the electricity transmission company would fast-track connections to household since the fibreglass poles are quicker to make as opposed to timber which needs years to mature.
Besides, the poles are impervious to rot, pests and require zero maintenance, which will have positive impact on electricity supply costs.
"Despite their initial high cost, fibreglass poles can reduce power outages by providing support during adverse weather that usually causes wooden poles to break or lean," said Ben Chumo, chief executive at Kenya Power.
Chumo said the new poles, made from silica sand, limestone, soda ash and plastic are stronger, lighter, more durable and sturdy enough to withstand rugged terrain.
"Fibreglass poles are ideal in salty, swampy, hilly places and requi re zero maintenance. They are lighter and do not require heavy machinery to erect, making them ideal for areas that are hard to access," he said.
Kenya Power said the poles will complement the on-going process to partly replace wooden poles with concrete poles which began in 2011, as a strategy to connect more households at a cheaper cost.