Gitugu Hydropower Plant Receives A Huge Boost

by Business Watch Team

A new power plant, urgently needed to boost electricity supplies to towns and villages in Muranga County, Kenya, was completed on schedule, despite supply chain difficulties, with the support of Eaton, the intelligent power management company.

Eaton’s team in East Africa, working with Switchgear Ltd., a partner enrolled under Eaton’s Panel Builder Program, provided hydropower specialists Hydrobox, with consultancy advice and all components they needed for their project, ranging from three-phase miniature circuit breakers to large air circuit breakers.

Hydrobox specializes in supplying containerized compact power plants for installation in remote locations, and for this project, they needed to build a hybrid power plant with 55 km grid lines to a remote site in Gitugu, Kenya. Eaton was able to provide all the components needed, but what made the difference to the success of this project, was excellent teamwork in the face of significant challenges which could have pushed it behind schedule.

Explaining what happened, Rik Vereecken, chief technology officer, of Hydrobox/Yetu Smart Grids said: “When there were issues with the supply chain – first due to the global pandemic, and then because of the delays caused when a container ship blocked the Suez Canal in 2021, making world news, Eaton looked at how they could get products to us using alternative methods. They even delivered to our end-customer directly from their manufacturing plants when required.”

Deon Ferreira, country sales manager, Southern & East Africa, Eaton, added: “Hydrobox needed a wide range of components, as well as assistance from engineers who could help them assemble machinery required to build the plant. Our partner network in the region meant that we were able to provide them with the products and support required.”

Rik Vereecken added: “Eaton, for us, is more than just a supplier. They have built an ecosystem that ensures customers get a well-rounded service experience. They have put together a good supplier network to help ensure all customer needs are met.”

Eaton’s ability to supply the products needed meant that Hydrobox delivered its project on time, putting the Gitugu power plant on track to meet its 2023 target of supplying the hydropower mini-grid project with more than 2 Gigawatts of power.

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