World Bank offers US$45 million for Kenya power project

power1 sxc.huKenya is heading towards a massive increase in power demand in years to come. (Image source: sxc.hu)The World Bank has granted a sum of US$45mn to develop power generation facilities in Kenya as part of a deal that brought together power company Gulf Power, the Kenyan government and JP Morgan Chase Bank

Gulf Power will be expected to add an additional 80MW to the national grid upon completion of the project next year.

Part of the World Bank funds will serve as partial risk guarantee for Gulf Power in case Kenya Power fails to meet its obligations as stipulated in the deal.

According to Energy Regulatory Commission, energy demand in Kenya will be expected to reach 16,905MW by 2031 from 1,520MW that was recorded in 2012.

With this project, Gulf Power has joined the four major power producers of Kenya, namely Thika Power, Triumph Power, Orpower 4, and Lake Turkana Wind Power, in an endeavour to increase electricity supply in the country.

World Bank director for Kenya Johannes Zutt said that the signing for a third private power producer would increase supply of electricity in Kenya.

Zutt remarked, “Diversifying the country’s power sources and increasing the stability of supply are key to make businesses grow and create jobs for Kenyan people.”

The total cost of the project currently stands at US$108mn. Its construction work was launched in July last year.

The International Finance Corporation has invested $31mn in the operations of Gulf Power. The company has also received loans from OPEC Fund for International Development.

Finance minister Njeru Githae has said that the energy sector has played a critical role in driving the nation’s development agenda as envisaged in Vision 2030.

Githae added, “The government has since created an enabling environment to encourage many investors to grab the opportunities in the energy sector.”

Mwangi Mumero

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