World Bank to provide funds for Kenyan power supply improvement

Mar 27, 2004 01:00 AM

The World Bank will give Sh 14.2 bn to the Kenyan Government to boost power distribution, President Mwai Kibaki said. He said the money, which would be available in the next three years, would be used in the extension of the Olkaria II Geothermal Power project in Naivasha.
President Kibaki was speaking in Naivasha after inaugurating the Olkaria II Geothermal Power Station, which will add 70 MW to the national grid. He said during this financial year, Sh600 mm had been advanced to KenGen for Geothermal resource assessment.
"A similar amount would be provided in the next financial year," said the President.

President Kibaki said at least Sh 3 bn would be spent in the next five years for geothermal production, to support another power station in Olkaria that will generate another 70 MW. He further said the Federal Republic of Germany had announced plans to advance EUR 8.5 mm.
The President was accompanied by First Lady Lucy Kibaki and was received by Nakuru leaders led by Assistant Minister Alicen Chelaite. Cabinet Ministers Chris Murungaru, Amos Kimunya, Ochillo Ayacko, Jebii Kilimo and Karisa Maitha accompanied him.

Inaugurating the power project, President Kibaki noted that the 70 MW plant had increased power generation in the country from 820 MW to 1,100 MW. However, the President noted that despite the surplus 280 MW of electricity, the country continued to suffer frequent power blackouts due to poor distribution systems. He said an efficient power transmission and distribution system was a priority in his government.
The President assured Kenyans that power tariffs in the country would soon go down in an effort to attract more foreign investors. Kibaki said the government had established a rural electrification fund to speed up the process. President Kibaki asked the Ministry of Energy to solicit for more funds from development partners for the rural electrification programme.

With the expected connection of 150,000 new power consumers per annum, the President said therewas a need for the ministry to plan ahead and act on time to avoid a repeat of the massive power rationing experienced in the country in the year 2000. Energy Minister, Ochilo Ayacko said the Olkaria II power station as a world-class project that was environmental friendly.
He said Geothermal was the future mode of power production, adding that it was much better than hydro or fuel power generation. Present also were area MP Jayne Kihara, KenGen chairman Titus Mbathi and managing director Eddy Njoroge.

Source: The East African Standard
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