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Kenyan power plant signs clean coal technology agreement with GE

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World Coal,

Gulf Energy, the developer of the 1050Mw Lamu coal power plant (Amu Power), the largest private sector led infrastructure project in East and Central Africa, has entered into a clean coal technology agreement with General Electric (GE) that will see the plant use GE’s Ultra-Supercritical Clean Coal Technology.

Amu Power is the special purpose company that will own and operate the 1050 MW coal fired power plant in Lamu County, Kenya, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework.

The agreement was signed at Nairobi, Ministry of Energy offices in Nyayo House in the presence of Charles Keter, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy (MoE), Joseph Njoroge, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Energy, Jim Rigassio, the Commercial Counsellor in the US Embassy (Kenya), Pushpinder Dhillon, the Counsellor for Economic Affairs in the US Embassy (Kenya); by the Managing Director of Amu Power Company Limited, Francis Njogu and Jay Ireland the President and CEO, GE Africa. Others in attendance included the Ministry’s staff, Amu Power staff and GE staff.

The agreement will also see GE through its affiliates acquire a stake in the equity of Amu Power, subject to obtaining regulatory, board and lenders’ approval. Under the agreement, GE Power will design, manufacture and deliver its Ultra Super-Critical Clean Coal Technology components (boiler and steam turbine generator) and air quality controls systems for the Lamu coal power plant.

In a briefing to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House following the signing, the parties informed the President that GE’s Ultra-Supercritical technology will guarantee a clean environment through elimination of emissions, and lower the overall cost of power generation in the country. The parties further noted that upon completion, the Lamu power plant will be the single largest Independent Power Producer (IPP) in the region and will account for up to 30% of power generation capacity in Kenya.

Njogu said: “This is truly a historic moment for Kenya and the East African region as a whole. We are confident that this partnership forged today will go a long way to position Kenya as an Industrial hub in the continent. Kenya has been looking for ways to enhance its generation mix to provide the most efficient, least-cost and reliable power in a sustainable manner; and the technology offered by GE gives us a unique opportunity to achieve this ambition.”

The Kenyan Government is hopeful that the Lamu power plant will be a key player in supporting its ‘Big Four’ agenda, specifically in the manufacturing sector by providing steady, reliable and affordable power. The sector’s growth will create new employment opportunities every year that the Kenyan workforce will benefit from.

Statistics show that connections to the national grid grew to 6.2 million in 2017, up from one million in 2010. As the country transitions into a middle-income economy by 2030, supply of adequate, reliable and affordable energy is a key foundation.

George Njenga, Commercial Leader, GE Steam Power, Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Kenya’s energy demands are growing as the government seeks to implement its critical ‘Big Four’ agenda. GE Ultra Super-Critical Coal Power technology will deliver cleaner, affordable, reliable and efficient solutions as well as critical power to help meet the country’s growing needs.”

At a tariff of US Cents 7.81/kWh, the Lamu power plant will provide base-load capacity at the lowest non-subsidised tariff in the country. Additionally, it will have the flexibility to profile the generation according to the daily demand pattern, compared to other power production technologies that are inflexible; reducing generation costs by 12% - 36%.

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