On September 29, Mr. Charles Keter (cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum), Liu Changlin (vice governor of Jiangxi Province in China), Liu Xianfa (Chinese Ambassador to Kenya), Aden Duale (majority leader of the National Assembly of Kenya) and officials of Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority and China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Corporation gathered in Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city) and attended the launching ceremony of a photovoltaic power plant project in Kenya. This project carried out in the close cooperation between China and Kenya will build a 50-MW photovoltaic power plant in the East Africa region, and the largest one ever.
This photovoltaic power plant project in Kenya will be located in the Garissa County, with a preferential loan of 13 billion Kenyan shillings (about 128 million US dollars) by the Export-Import Bank of China. It is the first power generation project for Chinese preferential loans to be introduced to Kenya and it’ll be constructed by China Jiangxi International Kenya. When completed, it’ll be the largest grid-connected photovoltaic power plant in Kenya and the East Africa region, as well as one of the largest ones in Africa. It is expected to generate about 76.473-million-kWh electricity annually, meanwhile, help reduce local carbon dioxide emissions by about 64,190 tons and coal use by about 24,470 tons.
Besides, the construction of the photovoltaic power plant project in Kenya will bring huge economic and social benefits along. This plant can meet the power demand of 70,000 households or 350,000 people equivalent to half the population of the Garissa County within its designed 25-year operating period.
More Benefits Brought to Kenya Besides the Photovoltaic Power Plant
During the construction, a priority will be given to employ local labor involved in manufacturing, installation, testing or maintenance, which can provide 2,000 job opportunities at peak times. People who participate in this project can have their skills well improved and become more competitive in the market. For another thing, this project can boost the development of the upstream and downstream industries of the solar industry in this area, like the architectural materials industry, logistics industry and electrical and mechanical engineering industry. Moreover, the contractor China Jiangxi International Kenya, has made a promise to the Garissa government that it will fulfill its social responsibility to build classrooms and clinics, dig wells and maintain relevant infrastructures for local people. And it will make efforts to improve local education and employment, as well as help local people to shake off poverty – that is the root of the terrorism issue.
Additionally, the China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Corporation also signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, about a 145-kilometer power transmission project. In the coming days, this project would help resolve the short supply, the uneven distribution and the high price of electricity in Kenya. comment