Kenya-China signs Sh206bn power deal

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The government has witnessed the signing of a Sh206 billion power agreement between China Power Global and Amu power– the Lamu power generating coal plant which is incorporated as part of the LAPSSET corridor.

“This is one of the biggest plans under the public-private partnership framework. I am optimistic that the plant should be up and running in two years’ time. We are almost reaching conclusion and what is remaining is the letter of support,” says Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.

Keter who witnessed the signing together with President Kenyatta assures that, “We’ve given them the standard, they’ve made comments, which is still now between Treasury and the Attorney General, they’ve also signed the LAPSSET lease. If all goes well they can do their groundbreaking by June, July.”

The CS says Kenya has already started the process of transmission line, the 400kV line from Lamu to Kitui to Nairobi which has been awarded to three contractors. The plant is expected to inject 1050MW into the power grid and will contribute to a stable power supply.

Keter, “It is important because it’s a base load. Like now, we closed down Masinga until last week. Kenya has been depending on hydros and because of the advanced weather condition we are experiencing a lot of problems.”

Its biggest selling point is however, is that it would provide a cheap source of power. “We’re saving a lot in terms of kWh,” Keter said.

And while environmentalists would cite the cost to the environment and respiratory health, Keter stands behind the plant.

“The newly built power plants of coal right now are environmentally clean. If you look at China, most of their power supply is through coal; US, all the countries worldwide. So in the essence of Kenya, if we require over 30,000 MW of power for us to be an industrialised, nation, we require all kinds of sources of power.”