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Blackouts push Mombasa Cement to build wind plant

Mombasa Cement
Mombasa Cement factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Mombasa Cement Company set up its 36-megawatt wind farm in Kilifi for its operations due to the high cost of electricity and inefficient supply that have seen other companies also shift from relying on Kenya Power.

The firm that produces the Nyumba brand of cement said the construction of the wind farm started this year on part of its land in Vipingo and will supply its new grinding plant, which will be launched next month.

Mombasa Cement head of plant Koppal Srikantaiah raised concerns over increasing power inefficiencies and quality, which are eating into its profits and it is now looking to become an independent power producer in the next few years.

“We had to pay for the 16 days we lost last year without working due to outages and we failed to meet demand,” he said.

The project will consist of 12 turbines of three megawatts each as the Mombasa Cement works with the State utility firm to ensure it has high-power voltage line from Kaloleni substation.

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“We have already initiated setting up of 132-kV transmission line direct from main supply in Kaloleni to ensure a steady supply of power but the inefficiency in the supply of power and the high cost is real eating in our profits,” said the head of the plant.

The wind park is being built on a section of the 1,200-acre piece of land on which it operates a clinker factory.

Mr Srikantaiah said the new grinding plant would process more than 5,000 metric tonnes of clinker per day compared to the current one, which processes 3,000 metric tonnes daily.

Mombasa Cement started its operations in 2012 and had been squaring it out for market share with rivals such as ARM Cement, Bamburi Cement, East African Portland Cement, National Cement and Savannah Cement.

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