A worker prepares for the installation of electric
A worker prepares for the installation of electricity wires in Lemek, Kenya. (File photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
  • Kenya is in a national power blackout.
  • Electricity pylons collapsed on one high-voltage line, taking out the country's entire network.
  • It is not yet clear how long restoration could take.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Electricity is out in Kenya, after pylons collapsed on a single high-voltage transmission line, the state-controlled equivalent of Eskom, Kenya Power said on Tuesday.

The line connects Nairboi with the Kiambere hydroelectric dam.

"We have lost power supply due to collapsed towers on Kiambere - Embakasi high voltage transmission power line at 10:45 a.m.(0745 GMT) this morning," Kenya Power said in a statement on its Twitter account.

"Our engineers are working to restore electricity supply as the repairs are being undertaken."

A company spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the outage was nationwide.

The company did not say what had caused the transmission line collapse, nor did it release an estimate on how long repairs would take.

Kenya Power is the country's sole electricity distributor and the bulk of its power comes from Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).

In May 2020, Kenya experienced a similar nationwide outage after a section of a high voltage power line that transmits power to Nairobi from the Olkaria geothermal power plants, some 75km from Nairobi, broke.

In late December, a section of another transmission line known as Loyaingalani-Suswa, collapsed, knocking out some power supply from the grid and leading to power rationing in some parts of the country – including Nairobi – while it was being repaired. 

In December, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive to Kenya Power to reduce the price of electricity, with a 15% cut in costs for December 2021, and a further cut of 15% due in the first quarter of 2021.

(Reuters, with additional compilation by Phillip de Wet)

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