Unilever Tea Kenya has commissioned a Sh85 million hydro-electric project to power its operations in Kericho. The power plant is part of its efforts to reduce over-reliance on the national power grid and conserve the environment, according to Unilever chief operating officer Harish Manwani.
He said the Tagabi Hydro Electric Power Station has increased the company's self-sufficiency in energy from a previous average of 68 per cent to 95 per cent. Manwani said demand for electric energy in Kenya has been increasing over the years, often stretching supply at peak consumption. The national utility firm uses diesel generators to meet this demand, which has resulted not only in higher costs but also increased the carbon footprint.
"To mitigate these challenges, Unilever Tea Kenya in 2010 initiated the Tagabi Hydro II Project to realise its ambition of being 100 per cent self sustainable in energy," he said. "Hydro-electricity is particularly sustainable in this region of the country which is well endowed with rivers flowing throughout the year."