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Sh2.4b French boost for Olkaria

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The French Development Agency has issued the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) a loan Sh2.4 billion without a government guarantee for the funding of the Olkaria II, third unit.

French Ambassador to Kenya Elisabeth Barbier said once complete, the power generation unit will supply an additional 35 MW of electricity to the national grid.

“The funding is currently being processed and is expected to be disbursed next April,” he said.

Initial synchronisation of the work is scheduled for March 7, 2010 and KenGen is expected to take over the plant on May 12, 2010.

At the same time, KenGen Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Eddy Njoroge was on Wednesday honoured by the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy with the French Order of National Merit.

The medal of honour was presented to him in Nairobi on the President’s behalf by the French Ambassador in recognition of Mr Njoroge’s achievements at the helm of KenGen.

Speaking during the presentation of the medal of honour, Ms Barbier said that the French Order of merit was created by President General de Gaulle in 1963 and has over the years been awarded to French nationals in recognition of distinguished merits in the civilian and military spheres but was also increasingly being awarded to distinguished non French personalities.

“Mr Njoroge’s participation in international conferences as a spokesman for the African business community won him the award,” Ms barbier said. “France was convinced that renewable energy would play an increasingly bigger role in Kenya’s energy sector in future.”

The project will also be partly funded by the World Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB) and KenGen’s own resources.

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