KenGen #ticker:KEGN has moved to diversify its revenue streams by inviting investors to set up export-only textile and apparels plants on a 309-acre industrial zone in Naivasha.
The KenGen Green Energy Industrial Park, which has four zones, is connected to Mombasa port via the standard gauge railway (SGR) line and offers prospective companies direct connection to cheap electricity.
KenGen said the Olkaria property is divided into four plots: Site A (70 acres), Site B (82 acres), Site C (100 acres) and 57 acres reserved for Site D.
“Under the lease, the manufacturing/processing firms (locators) will be supplied with utilities such as geothermal steam and brine (hot water) as well as raw water,” reads the advertisement in the dailies.
The move will also open new business lines for the power generator that have remained untapped such as commercial production of sulphuric acid.
There are 22 garment industries in Kenya employing 46,248 people. Last year, the textiles sector earned Sh41.6 billion in export sales up 25.8 percent from Sh33 billion reported in the previous year.
KenGen also runs a world-class spa in Olkaria whose sulphur-rich warm water pool that helps improve skin texture as well as heal some skin conditions is a big tourist attraction.
Under the new project, companies will lease land for development of labour-intensive industries that will have access to cheap electricity and hot water.
The government, under its industrial transformative agenda, expects to ease production and operation costs for local companies eyeing export markets by facilitating access to cheap power and transport via the SGR.
KenGen has also hinted at developing a similar facility at its Menengai Geothermal plant with studies showing the viability of a five-star resort facing 90-kilometre-wide Menengai crater, a world-class tourist attraction.
Making land available for special economic zones addresses a shortage that garment factories eyeing export markets said slowed down investments in new factories to meet the growing demand for their products.