Sh17bn solar project sets ball rolling for industrial park plan

Sunday June 23 2019

Kenya Power

The solar park will also sell electricity to Kenya Power. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

WYCLIFF KIPSANG
By WYCLIFF KIPSANG
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BARNABAS BII
By BARNABAS BII
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The setting up of the first ever private Special Economic Zone in Uasin Gishu County has begun.

This follows the launch of a Sh17 billion solar power project which is set to produce 80 megawatts of electricity for the industrial park and supply to the national grid.

The project, set to be completed in the next 18 months, will be set up on a 700-acre parcel of land. It is a partnership between DL Group of Companies and Selenkei and Cendate Solar.

Apart from providing power to the industrial park, it will also sell electricity to Kenya Power, with an agreement already signed.

Dr David Lagat, the chairman of DL Group of Companies, said they had already obtained all the documents needed for the project from the government.

“The project will be a game changer as it will offer employment opportunities to locals and improve infrastructure,” said Dr Lagat.

According Dr Lagat, Eldoret has comparative advantage for setting up the Special Economic Zone as it is strategic in providing access to other towns in the country, other countries in Africa, and easy access to raw agricultural materials.

“This is a noble idea which has taken time but is almost being actualised. We call on the government to create an enabling environment for investment. We need to be more efficient as a country for the sake of investors,” said Dr Lagat.

More than 18 other international firms have already signed up to set up industries, while other companies have expressed interest in the economic zone.

“We’re happy with the support we have received from the national and county governments and all partners, including Kenya Power. It will be a landmark project which we are all proud of,” said Mr Lash Jameson, the investors director at Selenkei and Cendate Solar.

The company has already commissioned an administration block for Keringet Secondary School in Ainabkoi constituency where the project is situated.

Speaking during the project launch on Tuesday, Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno said provision of sufficient and reliable power supply was key to industrialisation.

The industrial park will be key to the attainment of the Big Four agenda through industrialisation,” said Mr Chemno.