Kenya Power and Lighting Company
|Traded as||NSE: KPLC|
|Predecessor||Mombasa Electric Power & Lighting Company
Nairobi Power & Lighting SyndicateSyndicate
|Founded||6 January 1922by merger|
|Founder||Harrali Esmailjee Jeevanjee
|Dr Ben Chumo
- Not to be confused with the associated Kenya Electricity Generating Company.
Kenya Power and Lighting Company, commonly referred to as Kenya Power or KPLC, is a limited liability company which transmits, distributes and retails electricity to customers throughout Kenya.
Kenya Power is a public company listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The company is a national electric utility company, managing electric metering, licensing, billing, emergency electricity service and customer relations. KPLC headquarters are at Stima Plaza, Kolobot Road in Parklands, Nairobi; it operates many offices throughout Kenya. Kenya Power also has a training school which is based at Thika Road opposite Utalii college which offers many courses on electrical, electronic, installation, overhead line construction and technicians with a big library which houses all material covers electrical and electronic courses and other two libraries for technical and executive purposes.
In addition to electricity distribution at Ksh 19.68 KW/h (as at July 2016) to houeholds and domestic users, KPLC also offers optic fiber connectivity to telecommunication companies through its 1,800km of optical fiber cable network that runs along its high voltage power lines across the country mainly to manage the national power grid.
Kenya Power traces its history from 1875 when Seyyied Barghash, the Sultan of Zanzibar, acquired a generator to light his palace and nearby streets. This generator was acquired in1908 by Harrali Esmailjee Jeevanjee, a Mombasa based merchant, leading to the formation of the Mombasa Electric Power and Lighting Company whose mandate was to provide electricity to the island. In the same year Engineer Clement Hertzel was granted the exclusive right to supply Nairobi city with electricity. This led to the formation of the Nairobi Power and Lighting Syndicate.
In 1922, the Mombasa Electric Power and Lighting Company and Nairobi Power and Lighting Syndicate merged under a new company known as East African Power and Lighting Company (EAP&L). The EAP&L expanded outside Kenya in 1932 when it acquired a controlling interest in the Tanganyika Electricity Supply Company Limited (now TANESCO) and later obtaining a generating and distribution licenses for Uganda in 1936, thereby entrenching its presence in the East African region. EAP&L exited Uganda in 1948 when the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) was established to take over distribution of electricity in the country.
On February 1, 1954 Kenya Power Company (KPC) was formed and commissioned to construct the transmission line between Nairobi and Tororo in Uganda This was to transmit power generated at the Owen Falls Dam to Kenya. KPC was managed by EAP&L under a management contract. In the same year, EAP&L listed its shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Making it one of the first companies to list on the bourse.
EAP&L exited Tanzania in 1964 by selling its stake in TANESCO to the Government of Tanzania. Due to its presence in only Kenya, EAP&L was renamed the Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC) in 1983.
Kenya Power Company demerged from KPLC in 1997 and rebranded to Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and in 2008, the electricity transmission infrastructure function was curved out of KPLC and transferred to the newly formed Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO).
Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) was rebranded Kenya Power in June 2011.
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KPLC enjoys market monopoly in Kenya and generates billions of shillings in revenue annually as evidenced by high annual turnover. However, KPLC has come under criticism for frequent rolling blackouts, faulty technology and widespread impunity. KPLC has also been under scrutiny for lacking an electronic billing system and for failing to combat electricity theft in Kenyan slums.
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