The University’s training, research and technological innovation activities are set to gain from uninterrupted power supply when the university finally gets a dedicated institutional power supply line from the Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC)’s JKUAT-based power sub-station, when it starts operating.
The prospects look even better following the University’s move to formalize a five-year partnership with the country’s power supplier, at a ceremony in JKUAT Main Campus, Thursday, March 12.
Speaking at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, KPLC Managing Director & CEO Dr. Ben Chumo, said the energy sub-sector is set for massive investments opportunities which call for institutions of higher learning such as JKUAT to reposition themselves so as to gain from the anticipated benefits.
“The volume of public investment in the sector is huge, and we would like this university to be part of the success,” noted the CEO, adding that with about 400 megawatts already injected on the national power grid, the 5000 megawatts target was within reach.
Dr. Chumo, an alumni of JKUAT who was accompanied by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary Beatrice Meso; General Manager, Human Resources and Administration Mr. Abubakar Swaleh, and Dr. Jeremiah Kiplagat, also observed that KPLC was in the process of reorganizing its training component now headed by Dr. Kiplagat, a specialist in energy sector whom he said, was ready to work with JKUAT in order to tap into existing expertise in the two institutions to maximize on the benefits of the partnership and the energy sector.
He said, KPLC was focused on a more interactive relationship, including retaining electrical engineering graduates from JKUAT whom he noted, are the best in the market, owing to the quality training.
According to the KPLC and JKUAT MoU, the two parties will collaborate for the next five years, “to enhance power transmission and distribution and power generation through research, training, innovation, technological development, commercialization and marketing for development and industrialization.”
JKUAT and the power supplier will further conduct joint industrial research, innovations and technology development, institutional capacity building, staff exchange and attachment, student training and attachment, technology transfer, curriculum development and consultancy.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga welcomed the partnership which has come at a time when the university is undertaking the Laptop for schools project which she reckoned, required constant and steady supply of power.
She further explained that JKUAT researchers have developed various technologies under the BRIGHT project to harness alternative energy sources from wind, and water hyacinth.
Prof. Imbuga further reported that the university will soon make an entry into the biogas packing market.