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Delayed licence halts investment at Olkaria industrial park

Rebecca Miano
Kenya Electricity Generating Company Managing Director Rebecca Miano. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Multi-billion shilling investments remain on hold due to delayed approvals for the proposed Olkaria Industrial Park, Naivasha.

Power producer, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) #ticker:KEGN said it has already submitted applications seeking Special Economic Zones status for the 1,300 acres set aside for the park.

"We have received serious offers from investors but cannot actualise the contracts for development of factories since we have no approvals," said KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano.

Ms Miano said the incoming export-oriented firms will access cheap power as well as transport via the Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) to and from the Mombasa Port.

She spoke at the Sh45 billion Olkaria 5 geothermal project site in Naivasha, currently 75 per cent complete.

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The industrial project is key to creating demand for power as Kenya has a 2,350MW generation capacity against a peak demand of 1800MW.

The cost of power has been blamed for Kenya's uncompetitive pricing in the global market.

The new project will add 165MW at 7.50 US cents a unit to the national grid, increasing Kenya's geothermal production to 7,99MW. The geothermal plant is set for completion in July 2019.

KenGen has meanwhile collected spare parts held at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot(NICD) that earlier faced auction for non-collection.

The listed firm said the delay in collecting the tax-exempt cargo was caused by the government's move to channel cargo through SGR where state goods are ferried to NICD.

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