New generation project to lower power costs


Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Mr Davies Chirchir has reasserted the government’s commitment to make Kenya an attractive and competitive investment destination in Africa. 

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Mr Davies Chirchir has reasserted the government’s commitment to make Kenya an attractive and competitive investment destination in Africa. He said that on his priority list is the initiative to lower cost of electricity for the economy to about 7 US cents per kilowatt hour, which he confirmed was on course with the on-going  5000+ MW new generation capacity project.


Mr Chirchir was talking to the top 100 industrial executives in Nairobi today at a breakfast meeting called by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and attended by Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Eng Joseph Njoroge, Kenya Power and KenGen Managing Directors Dr Ben Chumo and Mr Albert Mugo respectively, and KAM CEO, Betty Maina.


“We want to progressively lower cost of electricity by 37 per cent for industrial customers from the current level in order to make existing manufacturers competitive on the local and international markets, and secondly to attract new investors with price as the incentive,” declared Mr Chirchir. Domestic customers will enjoy a 47 per cent reduction to about 10.43 US cents per kilowatt hour.


He told the executives that the new investment in generation capacity is focused on the cheaper geothermal resource, adding that the country has an estimated reserve of 10,000MW. Already, 280MW is at an advanced stage of development in Olkaria with two machines with a total capacity of 140MW becoming available in June this year. The other two machines with equivalent capacity will commence operations in August and September 2014 respectively.


Currently, he noted, power generated from hydro capacity was being used as the base (main) load forming about 55 percent of total power generated. However, he noted this form of power is severely affected by vagaries of weather, adding that it was the intention of government to make geothermal the base load as it is not affected by weather patterns hence guaranteeing continuous power supply to the economy.


Power generation from the more expensive thermal sources has been enhanced recently, he noted, due to failure of the long rains.


With assured increase in more cost effective generation capacity and improved transmission and distribution network, Mr Chirchir urged industrialists to initiate expansion plans in order to take up the additional power in the next 32 months. He also encourage external investors to bring their enterprises to Kenya saying this will create more wealth for the country while at the same time creating employment opportunities for Kenya’s young population.


Kenya Power’s Dr Ben Chumo said the Company was currently focusing its investment in the complete overhaul of power distribution network dedicated to its 5000 industrial customers.


“We are currently engaged in major rehabilitation and refurbishment works that entails construction of new substations and power lines in all regions of the country,” he said, adding “we are determined to ensure that industries remain on power all the time as we will avail to them alternative supply lines,” he assured.

The new investment in the distribution network by the Company, he added, will assure quality and reliable power particularly to industrial and essential service customers.


Kenya Power and KAM are currently holding a series of consultative meetings with industrialists across the country to encourage them to expand production in view of envisaged increase in generation capacity.




For more information, contact:

Kenya Power Corporate Communications Dept. on Tel. 3201600/22 or