Shenzhen Star Instruments, the Chinese firm which won the tender to supply phase prepayment meters to Kenya Power, had pledged it would set up a manufacturing factory in late 2019.
The commissioning of the facility has not exactly happened, but it is not unlikely that the company had won on the strength of that pledge.
Kenya Power a listed company, has also called for bids for supply of nearly 200,000 post-paid meters, an indication that the company is keen on both post paid and prepaid schemes.
The single-phase prepaid meter supply contract awarded to Shenzhen is worth $7.4Million (or Sh746.2Million). The scheme is part of Kenya Power’s Last Mile Connectivity Project (LMCP), which links homes to the national grid under a subsidised programme. The LMCP was launched in 2015 to absorb more of the population in rural and peri-urban areas by providing subsidy for grid extension to enable customers get electricity supply at affordable cost.
Shenzhen Star had in 2017 bid for another tender worth Sh1.25 billion to design, supply and install an advanced metering system to Kenyan Power but lost to rival Chinese firm ZTE Corporation.