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Economy

Kenya now pushes nuclear power plant plan to 2036

nuclear power
Kenya was already hunting for a partner to produce nuclear power by 2022. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Kenya has postponed its plan to build Sh968 billion nuclear power plant by nine years to 2036 in favour renewable energy projects and coal plant.

Updated power development plan prepared by the Ministry of Energy and covering the period 2017 to 2037, now show that the earliest the country can build the nuclear plant is 2036 and not 2027 as initially planned.

In the revised plan, the first unit is expected to be completed in 2036, followed by another in 2037, making it the last project in the ministry’s 20-year plan for power generation expansion.

“All energy sources were considered in the system expansion planning. However, it is noteworthy that nuclear was not brought on board in both optimised and fixed MTP cases,” reads the updated plan shared by the Ministry.

In addition to the delay, the plan size has been scaled down. Initially, Kenya was to construct two nuclear power plants, each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) at a total cost of $4.05 billion (Sh405 billion) per plant.

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However, the new plan is to have each plant with a capacity of 600MW at a cost of $4.84 billion (Sh484) billion.

The Ministry did not explain why the cost had gone up despite cutting the capacity of each unit by 40 per cent.

Kenya was already hunting for a partner to produce nuclear power by 2022 to help match-up rising demand and diversify from hydropower and geothermal.

It joins South Africa South Africa, which in August cancelled plans to add 9,600 MW of nuclear power by 2030 and will instead aim to add more capacity in natural gas, wind and other energy sources.

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