US multinational conglomerate, General Electric (GE) has partnered with Kenyan firm, Simba Corporation, with efforts to tap into the diesel power generation market. The agreement stipulates that the local firm will be the authorised distributor for GE’s diesel power generators.
GE invests in Africa
According to the Daily Nation, the agreement marks the second that GE has signed in Africa. The first one was with UK-based Clarke Energy, which focused on Nigerian, Australian and Indian markets.
The power company’s Sub-Saharan Africa leader, George Njenga commented: “With our agreement with Simba Corporation, we are taking another important step forward in our strategy to expand the deployment of our distributed power technologies in Kenya and throughout Africa to boost the production of cleaner, more reliable energy and support the region’s goals to create more sustainable local economic growth.”
Kenya’s energy need
Currently, Kenya has an installed generation capacity of 2,250MWs with the population electrification rate sitting at 47%.
The east African country has been fast-tracking the development of clean power projects to help meet the country’s demand.
In recent news, Chase Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) issued a €10 million ($10.85 million) loan agreement to finance renewable energy projects in Kenya.
Chase Bank chief executive Paul Njaga said that funds would be made available to businesses that want to invest in renewable energy projects, The Star reported at the time.
Njaga said then that: “This is a 12-year facility and will therefore address long-term funding requirements in energy projects. The total committed amount is €30 million (Sh3.37 billion), of which €10 million will be available immediately for lending.”
The country’s abundant renewable energy resources was highlighted in a newly released report by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) climate change mitigation and adaptation organisation.
According to the GIZ, if solar, wind and biomass resources are harnessed correctly, they could potentially bring down the cost of electricity to between $0.07 and $0.12, (Sh7.17 and Sh12.31) per kWh, the Star reported.
This will be a drop from the current charge ranging from $0.12 and $0.22 (Sh12 and Sh22.57) per kWh for hydropower and between $0.25 and $0.30 (Sh25.64 and Sh30.77) per kWh for diesel generated electricity.
The report added that this could cut production and electricity costs in the country’s industrial sector and hotels by 50%.