Italian company to set up Sh32bn fertiliser factory


Farmers weed a maize farm in Bondeni, Uasin Gishu County, on May 24, 2021. PHOTO | NMG

Italian consortium Maire Tecnimont SPA has started building a Sh32.4 billion ($300 million) fertiliser plant in Naivasha in a move expected to help tame high prices of the farm input.

The consortium through its subsidiaries — MET Development, Stamicarbon and NextChem — is building the renewable power fertiliser plant in partnership with Oserian Development Company (ODC).

The plant will be situated at the Oserian Two Lakes Industrial Park, a new 150-hectare sustainable development in Nakuru County.

The industrial park is the anchor establishment on a 7,500-hectare mixed-use development, called Oserian Two Lakes, which comprises horticulture, industry and commerce, residential, tourism developments and a wildlife conservancy.

“We are very pleased to announce the start of this exciting project thanks to the collaboration with a pioneering player such as Oserian Development Company,” Maire Tecnimont Group chief executive Pierroberto Folgiero told the Business Daily on Friday.

“With this strategic initiative we aim to unlock the potential of decarbonising the fertiliser industry using renewable energy as a feedstock.”

The plant will support Kenya’s aspirations to lower its carbon footprint in its industrialisation drive, raise agricultural output and support smallholder farmers and communities.

The plant will be located near the country’s largest geothermal energy basin and will also be partly powered by solar energy produced on site – displacing the need for fossil fuels and cutting carbon from the production.

The facility will reduce carbon emission by approximately 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, compared to a gas-based fertiliser plant.

The firm targets to produce 550 metric tonnes daily of calcium ammonium nitrate and fertilisers based on nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK), with commercial operation of the plant expected to start in 2025.