The National Assembly Energy Committee, chaired by Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka, has given Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir a 10-day deadline to submit a detailed report on the cause of the recent nationwide power outage.
Parliament’s directive comes a day after Chirchir testified before lawmakers, who are trying to figure out what caused the blackout on Friday, August 25, shortly after 9 p.m.
As a result, the committee is investigating whether there was any negligence that resulted in the blackout, which disrupted various business operations and services for more than 12 hours.
The Ministry of Energy has consistently blamed the blackout on a problem at the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP), which LTWP management has denied.
“Committee members gave the CS an ultimatum of 10 days to name the person responsible which they said will help avert such occurrences,” read a committee dispatch.
The directive from Parliament came shortly after the Cabinet Secretary announced three preventive measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Chirchir stated that the Ministry is actively investigating the possibility of replacing current hydro turbine runners with more advanced ones capable of a wider operating range in collaboration with KenGen.
The Ministry has also introduced a set of measures, including the advancement of small hydro projects and acting on research studies conducted by KenGen.
“The CS assured the Committee that his Ministry is continuously reviewing the operational environment and guiding power agencies to adhere to best practices and standards to monitor the grid, and ensure security for the grid and stability in power situation,” the committee’s report read in part.
The Cabinet Secretary, on the other hand, stated that his ministry’s options are limited due to existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) contracts, which are also being scrutinised by the committee.