NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17- The cost of electricity in the country is expected to go down by 30 percent by the end of this month and 50 percent by early next year following the launch of the world’s largest geothermal power plant.
The Olkaria IV power plant commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Naivasha will add 140 megawatts of power to the national grid, effectively bringing down electricity costs.
“You cannot fight poverty if you cannot create an environment where you can create jobs. All that cannot happen if you don’t have the essentials which is energy. These investments that we are making will go a long way towards empowering our people and combat social ills that have inflicted this country over the years,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State says the projects and many others initiated by the government should have been completed a long time ago were it not for persistent procurement wrangles.
“If there is a procurement problem, let us deal with the procurement problem, as a procurement problem. But let’s not get courts involved because there are ten thousand different funny brokers cruising around there filing cases. Then we have the parliamentary committees stopping this program and that program, in the name of investing,” he complained.
The president said there were institutions set to investigate procurement complains which would carry out the investigations without blocking development.
“We cannot keep on with this trend of stopping major projects which would transform the lives of our people. We have to really start thinking,” he urged leaders.
His Deputy William Ruto who spoke at the same function said the government will be connecting the remaining 5,000 primary schools to electricity by April next year in preparation for the free school laptop project.
“There are real things happening. You know, we are not talking of a story here, we are talking of reality. So we want to tell Kenyans that this is not showbiz,” Ruto assured.
Last year, the government announced plans to connect the remaining 11,000 primary schools with power and so far 6,000 of them have electricity.
The Olkaria IV project worth Sh11.5 billion is co-financed by the Kenyan government through KenGen as well as World Bank, French development agency, the European Investment Bank among others.
The project which include Olkaria I and II is being developed by KEC of India, Toyota Tshusho of Japan, Hyundai Engineering and Sinclair Knight Merz of New Zealand.