Kenya accelerates the launch of nuclear power construction projects
The Kenyan government recently announced that it will invest 200 million Kenyan shillings (1 U.S. dollar equals 80 Kenyan shillings) as a seed fund to build a Kenyan national nuclear power plant to alleviate the long-term domestic power shortage. Kenya will also become the second African country to use nuclear power after South Africa.
Patrick Niyoko, Permanent Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, said to the media that the government's decision to build nuclear power plants is mainly to reduce dependence on hydropower and achieve diversification of energy production.
The current total installed power generation capacity in Kenya is 1,200 MW, of which hydroelectric power generation accounts for 56%, and some geothermal power generation. Niyoko hopes that the nuclear power plant will have a generating capacity of at least 1,000 megawatts upon completion.
According to estimates, the construction of such a nuclear power plant requires an investment of 1 billion U.S. dollars.
Previously, the Kenyan government has been trying to expand energy supply channels. It has tried to purchase electricity from neighboring countries to meet its domestic electricity demand, which is growing at an annual rate of 8%. Last week, the Kenyan government and the African Development Bank signed a loan agreement of 3.997 billion Kenyan shillings to connect the national grid of Kenya to other countries in East Africa.
Due to the lack of rainfall, Kenya’s reliance on hydropower has led to extremely unstable and insufficient power supply. This has severely inhibited the entry of foreign capital into the Kenyan market and directly affected Kenya’s economic development and social progress.
In order to speed up the launch of nuclear power construction projects, the Kenyan government has recently established a Nuclear Power Project Committee, which is responsible for nuclear reactor site selection and other related issues. Experts predict that it will take about 5 to 7 years for the nuclear power plant to be built and start generating electricity.