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Kenyan Solar Project to Provide Cheaper Energy to Manufacturers

Kenya’s Export Processing Zone Authority (EZPA) by 2013 will establish either a solar or biomass power plant costing $84 million to provide cheaper alternative energy to manufacturers in its zones.

Electrical power generation problems have repeatedly plagued the East African nation, negatively impacting its ability to advance its industrial base.

EPZA managing director Mutule Kilonzo told reporters, "We are discussing with several international financial institutions like the International Finance Corporation. We will also invite local institutions that want to partner with us in this venture. Once we develop Athi River phase two, demand for power will increase from the current 8 megawatts to 20 megawatts," AllAfrica news agency reported.

EPZA’s pilot project is expected to provide about 25 megawatts of electrical power to the country’s Athi River zone, which has a proviso to increase its capacity to 50 megawatts within three years of coming online.

Of Kenya’s 42 EZPA areas, , 40 are privately owned, distributed across the country, with Mombasa hosting 21, Nairobi nine, Athi River three, Kilifi two, and Voi, Kerio Valley, Thika, Isinya, Ruiru, Malindi and Eldoret one apiece.

Kenya developed the EPZA concept after similar concepts in China, India, Malaysia and other Asian “tigers” produced rapid economic growth.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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