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AfDB lends €28.1m to support access to reliable energy in Kenya

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on December 7, 2011 approved a €28.1 million senior loan to support the Thika Thermal Power Project in Kenya.

This reliable energy private sector power project, the lender said in a statement, will encourage economic growth by helping to address Kenya’s energy shortfall.

According to the AfDB, the 87 mega-watts (MW) Thika thermal power plant, located in the town of Thika, comprising five heavy fuel oil generators convertible into natural gas if gas becomes available, and a 7MW steam turbine will respond to Kenya’s shortage of dependable thermal capacity for which demand is growing by 6% to 8%  a year.

“Moreover, the power plant’s steam turbine will increase the efficiency of the plant, thus reducing carbon emissions. It will also ease the burden on the Nairobi area’s grid, which suffers from frequent voltage reductions and blackouts,” said AfDB December 9, 2011.

The Bank adds that because it can be dispatched on demand at short notice, the Thika power plant can act as a rapid response reserve for hydro and wind power projects and therefore support the Kenyan government’s renewable energy strategy.

The project would be able to supply an estimated 65,000 additional customers in the country.

By Ekow Quandzie

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