Kenya targeting 5,000mw of power output by 2017

power transmission station05 September 2013, Nairobi – Kenya needs $5.5 billion (about Sh450 billion) to step up its the electricity generation to 5,000MW in the next forty months to cope with the expected rise in demand.

According to KenGen acting Managing Director, Simon Ngure the demand is expected to be driven by the planned roll out of huge infrastructure projects.

He Kenya needs to triple its power generation capacity from the current 1,700MW to match the demand once major projects such as LAPSSET and the Konza ICT Park take off.

“We need to raise $5.5 billion for the power projects on the table. We are looking at various financing options including partnerships with local and international investors,” said Ngure.

He was speaking at an energy conference organized by KenGen at the Safari Park hotel. Ngure added that KenGen is exploring various options including geothermal, natural gas and coal as sources of the additional power. “We are already fast-tracking geothermal with an additional 280 MW expected to come on-stream in September next year,” he said.

The chief geologist at the ministry of energy John Omenge confirmed that plans were underway to boost the national grid capacity while at the same time providing Kenyans with cheap power. “We are evaluating the resource combination that is most cost-effective to be able to meet the anticipated huge power demand. The target is to reduce the high cost of power,” said Omenge.

Omenge however added that gas-driven power generation would be dependent on the country accessing cheap sources of natural gas. Although Kenya has discovered some offshore gas deposits, these are yet to be tapped. Similarly, massive deposits of coal believed to lie in the Mui Basin in Kitui have been the subject of controversy and litigation.

Kenya currently boasts 1,700MW in installed electricity capacity, 80 per cent of which is produced by KenGen.

– The Star

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