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700MW gas power plant plans in high gear

Mombasa county will soon host Kenya’s first natural gas-fired plant, Energy Cabinet secretary Charles Keter has said. Power from gas plant is part of the government’s target to achieve 5,000MW from the existing 2,294MW generation capacity in the push to diversify sources of electricity to meet rising demand to accelerate economic growth.

Keter said Energy Regulatory Commission in collaboration with his ministry are making final steps to ensure the multimillion-shilling project kicks off this year. Kenya made a U-turn to revive plans to build the gas-fired power plant in Mombasa after dropping the project in 2016.

The recent discovery of huge liquefied natural gas deposits in Hadado, Wajir, informed the ministry’s decision to reconsider the viability of the Dongo Kundu gas plant. While addressing the National Assembly committee on energy, Keter said the government hopes to lower the cost of electricity, mainly by increasing supply from cheaper energy sources, phasing out diesel generation.

The proposed Dongo Kundu generating plant will be located near the capital Mombasa with a ground-breaking ceremony set for this year. “We want to ensure there is stability of power supply at the Coast.

The gas power plant construction will soon kick off through a private partnership initiative,” said Keter. Electricity from the facility will cost less than Sh10 per kilowatt hour (kWh), or half that of diesel-generated power, which is currently Kenya’s expensive alternative.

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