The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: State to Name Coal, Gas Plants Firms

SUCCESSFUL bidders for development of a 900-1000 megawatt coal power plant at Lamu and a 700 - 800MW natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant at Dongo Kundu, Mombasa, will be known this week.

The two proposed power plants are part of the ambitious 5,000 MW plus project launched September 9, 2013 with a deadline of June 2016.

The government will, under the mega project, be partnering with the private sector to add 5,000MW to the 1,765MW national grid to power a double-digit economic growth.

Energy and Petroleum principal secretary Joseph Njoroge said 10 companies were shortlisted for the Lamu coal plant out of the 26 that had bid.

For the development of the Dongo Kundu gas-powered plant, 12 out of the 36 that had shown interest are in the race to land the inaugural project.

The names of the companies are yet to be made public. Listed investment firm Centum however disclosed on November 13 that it was one of the 62 companies.

The firm however declined to publicly declare its area of interest: coal, gas or both.

"We should be having that announcement from Monday next (this) week," Njoroge said last Thursday when asked on the status of the evaluation exercise.

The government had on October 2, last year, invited bids from international and domestic investors to develop the projects that will depend on imported gas and coal.

The bids were publicly opened on October 25 while evaluation started on October 29.

Successful investors will build, own and operate the plants, with an option to transfer it to government after recovering full value of investment.

Bidders were required to prove their ability to raise Sh146.2 billion ($1.7 billion) in capital, mobilise Sh86 billion (US$1 billion) in affordable loans, Sh17.2billion (US$200 million) in shareholders' funds and evidence of financing a Sh43 billion ($0.5 billion) power plant in the past.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company on November 25 invited bids from consultants to oversee construction of two overhead double-circuit 400 kilovolts transmission lines from the two proposed plants to the national grid.

The deadline for showing interest in the Ketraco project was last Wednesday, January 15.

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