Kanu era ty­coon se­cures cash for Turkana en­ergy unit

Ol­suswa En­ergy re­ceives Sh101.5m grant from the African Union Com­mis­sion

Business Daily (Kenya) - - MONEY & MARKETS - Brian Ngugi bn­joroge@ke.na­tion­media.com

Ol­suswa En­ergy, the com­pany owned by Kanu era ty­coon Manga Mugwe, has re­ceived a grant to­talling $980,000 (about Sh101.5 mil­lion) from the African Union Com­mis­sion (AUC), to­wards the de­vel­op­ment of its Turkana geo­ther­mal power plant.

Mr Manga, the Ol­suswa En­ergy di­rec­tor and the chair­man of May­fox Min­ing—cur­rently prospect­ing for gold and other pre­cious met­als in Turkana—said in a state­ment the funds will go to­wards co-fund­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the 140MW geo­ther­mal project.

Ol­suswa En­ergy is seek­ing to con­struct a power plant over five to eight years for trans­mis­sion into the na­tional grid. The to­tal cost of the project stands at $420 mil­lion (about Sh43.5 bil­lion). AUC, through its De­part­ment of In­fra­struc­ture and En­ergy, and Ol­suswa En­ergy signed

the grant con­tract for fi­nan­cial sup­port this week.

The funds will be used to con­duct a sur­face study and in­fra­struc­ture up­grade pro­gramme at the Bar­rier vol­canic com­plex lo­cated in Turkana County.

The geo­ther­mal field is one of the prospects in the Rift Val­ley and is sit­u­ated south of the lake. The area cov­ers 136 square kilo­me­tres. It sep­a­rates Lake Turkana from the Suguta Val­ley. The project’s cap­i­tal is ex­pected to be in the form of debt from de­vel­op­ment banks and other in­sti­tu­tions, ac­cord­ing to Ol­suswa En­ergy.

The en­ergy firm ear­lier said it ex­pected to be­gin ex­plo­ration in the first quar­ter of last year with drilling to start this year.

Yes­ter­day, it was not im­me­di­ately clear whether the project which had ear­lier faced some head­winds, had re­solved per­mit is­sues with the Turkana County gov­ern­ment.

A Turkana County of­fi­cial had ac­cused Ol­suswa En­ergy of seek­ing to ex­ploit geo­ther­mal re­sources without sign­ing a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the county gov­ern­ment, which stalled the project.

The com­pany had ear­lier said the first phase of 70MW would start op­er­at­ing in 2022.


PROJECT Ol­suswa En­ergy owner Manga Mugwe .

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