Kenya has invited investors to bid for the development of two power plants which have a combined output of up to 1,800 megawatts (MW) from coal and natural gas.

A statement released by Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said the country wants investors to invest in a 700-800 MW natural gas fired plant near the port city of Mombasa as well as the building of a 900 – 1, 000MW coal power plant in Lamu where the Kenyan government is planning to develop a $5.5 billion mega port that will link landlocked South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean.

“The proposed project will be a 700-800MW power plant to be located on a 300 acre parcel of land at Dongo Kundu or any other appropriate location between Mombasa and Kilifi,” the ministry said.

Interested investors have to be able to raise at least Sh146.7b ($1.7 billion) for each plant. They will provide evidence of financing a Sh43.15 billion ($500 million) power plant in addition to the ability to mobilise Sh86.3b ($1 billion) in affordable loan and Sh17.26b ($200 million) in shareholding funds.

Potential investors will also have to demonstrate experience in design, supply, construction and commissioning of commercial plants with a minimum installed capacity of 200MW over the last ten years.

Successful investors will however own and operate the plant with an option to transfer it to government after recovering full value of investment.

East Africa’s biggest economy is under pressure to boost its power generation by more than 5 percent as a result of the demands for electricity from projects like the construction of the standard gauge railway, setting up of Konza city and other ICT towns.

The invitation for investors to bid in its power project will help Kenya increase its electricity generation capacity by 5,000MW from the current 1,644MW to 6,700 MW by 2017.

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