BACKUP

KBL plans to generate own power

The brewer intends to set up generation at KBL and East African Malting plants in Nairobi and Kisumu

In Summary
  • More firms are riding on the Energy Act, 2019 that gives them the freedom to generate their own power, easing over-reliance on Kenya's Power
  • In the past five years, many small and large scale businesses and households have embraced solar energy to cut power costs
PROFITABLE: East Africa Breweries is among the bluechip companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.Photo/File
PROFITABLE: East Africa Breweries is among the bluechip companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.Photo/File

Kenya Breweries and East Africa Maltings want to generate electricity to backup supply by Kenya Power, joining manufacturers seeking independent energy sources.

in a notice, the two subsidiaries of East Africa Breweries Limited said they intend to set up renewable energy generators at Nairobi and Kisumu plants. 

The East African Malting plans to set up a KVA generator at its Kampala Road plant with a capacity to generate 2.2 megawatts of electricity. 

Kenya Breweries Limited on other hand plans to generate at least 9.3 megawatts at its Ruaraka plant and a 2.4-megawatt from solar power in Kisumu. 

''The purpose of this power generation is for own use as a backup during power outages from the national electricity provider to ensure continuity of operations,'' the brewer said. 

More firms are riding on the Energy Act, 2019 that gives them the freedom to generate their own power, easing over reliance on Kenya Power, which many see as expensive and unreliable. 

Kenya Ports Authority, Base Titanium and Mumias Sugar are among the first firms to embrace self-energy generation to cut power costs and losses from outages. 

In 2013  KPA reported losses of over $800,000 almost Sh85 million after a three-day blackout, which rendered the cranes motionless for over 75 hours with no cargo loaded or off-loaded from container vessels.

This saw it embark on a Green Port policy with the support of the UK's Department of International Development (DFID) and Trademark East Africa (TMEA), at a budget estimated at $34 million.

Mumias Sugar Company generates electricity from its bagasse-based co-generation plant. 

The company has the capacity to produce 34MW of electricity with 26MW supplied to the National grid supplementing the ever-increasing domestic demands. 

In the past five years, many small and large scale businesses and households have embraced solar energy to cut power costs, denying Kenya Power much-needed revenue. 

Late last year, the power distributor lamented the switch to solar move, saying that some of its industrial customers — who account for about 54.8 per cent of its sales revenues — are gradually shifting to own-generated solar power. 

Some of firms that have already installed solar include Safaricom, Garden City, London Distillers, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport among others, especially in the hospitality sector. 

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows that some 2.3 million households used solar for lighting, representing about 19.3 per cent of the total number of homes with rural areas recording 30 per cent growth.