Carbacid joins list of companies ditching KPLC for solar power

The Carbacid factory based in Industrial Area, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Carbon dioxide manufacturer Carbacid Investments has lined up three solar power generation plants as the firm seeks to further cut reliance on costly and unreliable supply from Kenya Power.

The firm, in its latest annual report, revealed the plan whose cost remained undisclosed, making it the latest large power consumer to pursue its own power production, further dealing a blow to the State-controlled power distributor.

Kenya Power has in recent years witnessed a rise in the number of large power consumers like factories and universities that are building their own energy generation plants with a preference for solar and biomass technology.

The growing shift sheds light on firms keen to cut energy costs while on the other hand dealing a blow to Kenya Power’s efforts to make profits.

“The reliability and cost of KPLC power supply continues to be inconsistent prompting the group to undertake significant investments in solar energy infrastructure,” the firm says in the report.

“The new investments are anticipated to become operational in 2024.”

The company added that it has commissioned two solar power plants and a third one is expected next year.

The plans are expected to lower the company's power bills at a time when electricity tariffs on the national grid have increased significantly.

Electricity tariffs were increased by an average of between 15 percent to 20 percent from April 1 this year, setting up firms like Carbacid for increased costs of power.

Carbacid is the major producer of carbon dioxide, which is used to make fizzy beverages like soft drinks, among other applications.

Big consumers such as Africa Logistics Properties, Mombasa International Airport and the Icipe recently commissioned their solar power generation plants.

East African Breweries Plc last year revealed it was nearing completion of its biomass plants to power its plants ahead of fully delinking from Kenya Power by 2030.

The shift by the large consumers further cuts electricity sales of Kenya Power and ultimately hits its chances of returning to profits.

Kenya Power sank into a Sh3.19 billion net loss for the year ended June 2023.

Carbacid Investments posted a net profit of Sh816 million in the year that ended July compared to Sh707.6 million posted in a similar period last year.

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