Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta officially commissioned the Olkaria IV geothermal power plant on Friday, adding 140 MW of much needed geothermal power to the grid.
President Uhuru Kenyatta officially commissioned the Olkaria IV power plant on Friday this week.
The historic event now opens the path for a reduction in the cost of production of goods which will ultimately lead to a lower cost of living.
The increased quantity of geothermal power will lead to lesser dependence on electricity produced using heavy fuel generators in many parts of the country.
The reduced use of heavy fuel in generating electricity will reduce the cost of power to consumers by 30 percent in the next month, meaning that a household that used to pay Sh1000 monthly will in the next month start paying Sh700.
The cost of essential goods like maize flour, sugar and building materials like cement will also go down.
“Take my word that the cost of goods will come down and this will lead to a lower cost of living for all Kenyans,” said President Kenyatta when he spoke at a function after the launch of the power plant.
Kenyatta will commission another geothermal power plant in December which will also have the capacity to produce another 140MW.
When the new plant is opened at the end of the year, the cost of power is expected to go down by 50 percent.
“We will not achieve the transformation we want if we do not increase the quantity of power, reduce its cost and ensure its regular supply,” said the President.
Kenyatta said the lower cost of power production will be passed on to consumers because industries will not take the savings from lower cost of power and keep it as profit for themselves.
He said the generation of cheap and reliable power will free Kenyans economically and help the country achieve its goals in education, health and wealth creation.
“You can not fight poverty when you do not have power to run an economy with industries to create jobs and create wealth,” said President Kenyatta.
Cheaper and reliable electricity will also attract investors to Kenya and the Government has already demarcated three industrial zones near Olkaria.
Those who will set up industries within the demarcated zones will benefit from cheaper power tariffs because they will get direct supplies from Olkaria.
“The industrial park that will be established here will demonstrate the actuality of the connection between geothermal power and industrialisation,” said the President.
Kenyatta said the Olkaria IV project was testimony of what Kenya can achieve, adding that the project was a milestone in Kenya’s journey to self-sufficiency, competitiveness and prosperity.