Struggling Electricity distributor Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has announced a tender for 76,657 treated wooden poles from local firms marking a major U-turn after just recently phasing out the wooden poles in favour of concrete types.
The monopoly has also asked commercial tree farmers to apply for the tenders to supply mature logs that will then be processed into electricity poles. KPLC has, however, restricted the tender to local manufactures of wooden poles with outstanding order balance of no more than 50 pc of ongoing contracts with the company.
“The Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc invites bids from eligible tenderers for supply of treated wooden poles. Interested eligible tenderers may obtain further information from the general manager, supply chain,” KPLC states. “Exclusive preference shall firstly be given to citizen contractors where the amount of the tender as evaluated is below Sh500 million in respect of works, goods and services.”
The poles are to be supplied in four lots of 49,566 poles, 6,289 poles, 4,412 poles, 160 poles and 16,230 poles with height ranging between 10 and 18 metres
The move it says will help the company connect even more Kenyans to the national grid and replace old poles, offering a market to farmers who practice agroforestry.
Kenya had put a ban on logging in February 2018 after the public complained of diminishing water levels in the country’s key rivers.
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