Water board in Sh27bn solar deal jolted by mounting debt

Coast Water Services Board has entered into a Sh27 billion renewable energy project for its Baricho water plant jolted by more than a billion shillings of unpaid power bills.

Wednesday January 27 2016

Vendors prepare to transport water for sale

Vendors prepare to transport water for sale after Coast Water Services Board disconnected supply to most parts of the Coast due to a Sh1.2 billion debt. PHOTO | ROBERT LABAN | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GITONGA MARETE
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heCoast Water Services Board has entered into a Sh27 billion renewable energy project for its Baricho water plant jolted by more than a billion shillings of unpaid power bills.

The board has entered into a deal with Zormar Group of Companies to construct a hybrid renewable energy power plant to supply electricity at the Baricho Water Works.

The wind and solar power generator is expected to produce 120W to run the water plant which has suffered from persistent disconnections by Kenya Power over unpaid bills.

The company says Kenya Power's persistent disconnections over mounting unpaid electricity bills have reduced its capacity and threatened to shake life out of its pipes.

Cannot sustain itself

“Energy costs at the Baricho plant currently consume over 73 per cent of the total revenues generated by the plant, meaning that the plant cannot sustain itself and play its mandate of meeting the region’s water needs,” Zormar Group of Companies vice president Martin Okore said.

The CWSB engineer Mr David Kanui, said the firm pays electricity bills in excess of Sh35 million each month adding that despite having a capacity of 90,000 cubic metres a day, they only pump 35,000 cubic metres daily.

Mr Okore said the first phase of the project will cost $100 million (Sh10.5 billion) and will involve installation of turbines and solar panels.

The project will involve installation of wind turbines, producing 80MW and solar panels that will produce 40MW and putting up of power lines for transmission including two high voltage substations. 

Zormar Group is partnering with Shelter Solutions Company, BCleantech Company Limited (Belgium) and Siemens AG Erlangen from Germany in a Public Private Partnership with CWSB.

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