Kenyan Cement Maker To Build $19m Coal Power Plant

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Updated Tue, 04 Nov 2014 09:55:00 GMT

VENTURES AFRICA – Kenya’s National Cement, a member of the Devki Group of Companies plans to build a Sh1.7 billion ($19 million) coal-fired power plant to feed its clinker manufacturing and limestone mining operation in Kajiado, 80 kilometres south of the country’s capital Nairobi.

The power plant will produce 15 megawatt of electricity and is seen as a better alternative to the expensive national grid.

“The cost of procuring electricity from Kenya Power is twice as much when compared with the cost of generating power using coal,” read an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for National Cement’s proposed power plant.

Power currently costs Sh16 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in Kenya, compared to coal power, which costs an estimated Sh13 per kWh based on the price of coal on the international market. And with the country’s cement industry being an energy-intensive one, the move by National Cement is expected to reduce production cost.

Aside cost reduction National Cement also described electricity provided by Kenya Power as unreliable, with intermittent interruptions detrimental to the company’s clinker production.

To power its plant, National Cement will need an estimated 63,360 tonnes of coal. This it plans to import from South Africa, among other coal-rich countries, until local mining kicks off.