Construction of a 36MW Kilifi wind farm, which will power manufacturing operations of Mombasa Cement has been completed. The company’s head of plant Koppal Srikantaiah confirmed the report and said the energy plant will help overcome power inefficiencies.
Kilifi wind farm
The wind farm is built on a 1,200 acre parcel of land in Vipingo, Kilifi County and construction got underway early this year. The wind park consists of 12 turbines of 3MW each. According to Mr Srikantaiah the wind power is expected to go live next month. The section of the land Mombasa Cement owns in Vipingo already operates a clinker factory that feeds its main plant in Athi River.
Mr Srikantaiah further explained that the land is at an elevation of between seven and 15 meters above the ocean and there is a steep cliff at its eastern edge towards the ocean. This makes designing of an onshore wind farm less complex. “The landscape can be characterised as flat which makes its accessibility relatively convenient and movement of turbines during installation, service and maintenance relatively convenient,” said Mr Srikantaiah.
Inefficiencies of the State-controlled Kenya Power
“The electricity generated from the wind farm will be evacuated via overhead cables to an existing sub-station within Mombasa Cement premises for feeding into the national grid. We have already initiated setting up of a 132-kV transmission line direct from main supply in Kaloleni to ensure a steady supply of power but the inefficiency in the supply of power and the high cost is real eating in our profits,” he added.
Mombasa Cement has joined a growing list of establishments that have set up their own power production units to battle inefficiencies of the State-controlled Kenya Power. These include KTDA, Strathmore University, Garden City, Williamson Tea, Africa Logistics Properties, Kapa Oil Refineries, London Distillers, and Oserian Flowers. KTDA has, for example, connected seven Mount Kenya factories to its hydropower stations in the region, a move that has saved it millions of in monthly power bills.