Kenya to tap power from Ethiopia, DRC

June 13, 2013
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Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich (with briefcase), Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru with senior ministry officials. Photo/ FILE
Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich (with briefcase), Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru with senior ministry officials. Photo/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – The government is investing in several regional generation and transmission projects to tap power from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to reduce energy costs.

Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Henry Rotich said on Thursday that Sh78.5 billion will go to scaling up investment in reliable and affordable energy, of which Sh12.5 billion will be for geothermal development and Sh23.8 billion for enhancing power transmission.

In the recent past crude oil and natural gas have been discovered in three of Kenya’s current 53 petroleum exploration blocks. The ongoing accelerated oil and gas exploration and drilling activities in Kenya, will create wealth and eradicate poverty.

Currently, crude oil imports and finished petroleum products account for more than 25 percent of Kenya’s total imports bill.

The government also seeks to increase the electricity generation capacity as well as growing the number of people connected to the national grid. Oil exploration will also be on top of the list, including further research on areas that have potential for oil deposits.
The ongoing accelerated oil and gas exploration and drilling activities in Kenya will be of significant socio- economic transformation in terms of wealth creation, and eradication of poverty.

Currently, importation of crude oil and finished petroleum products account for more than 25 percent of Kenya’s total imports bill as was the case in 2011.

On the flipside of it, the expenditure on these imports which stood at Sh330.71 billion ($3.85 billion) was more than 68 percent of the total foreign exchange earnings from Kenya’s commodity exports in 2011.

Commercial discovery will therefore enable the country to realise significant savings of the foreign exchange earnings that are current expended on the importation of petroleum products into this country.

Rotich proposed tax exemptions for plastic bag bio-gas digesters to encourage usage of this renewable energy.

“Biogas energy is gaining prominence as an alternative source of renewable energy for cooking and electricity generation in the rural areas. In addition, the residue arising from this process is used as fertilizer,” he announced.

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