Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has announced that it was constructing four hydro power plants in Kenya at a total cost of US$ 46m.
Kenya Tea Development Agency chief executive officer, Mr. Lerionka Tiampati confirmed the news about plans to hydro power plants in Kenya and said that the company is keen on ensuring that its factories in tea growing regions have access to alternative energy to help cut operation costs.
“Energy costs account for about 30 per cent of the operation costs in tea factories with electricity alone accounting for 17 per cent. With the new hydro plants, the factory is set to cut operation costs and additionally earn money from selling excess power,” Mr Tiampati further said.
The hydro plants are projected to generate 10.9 megawatts of electricity that will power some of the tea factories while the surplus will be sold to the government. They will be located in lower Nyamindi (Kirinyaga County), north Mathioya (Muranga County) and in Iraru and South Mara both in Meru County.
According to KTDA, on average, each tea factory spends between US$ 290,000 and US$ 630,000 per year on electricity.
“The hydropower project, once constructed is hoped to generate more energy than a factory’s requirement and the excess will then be sold to the national grid, thus providing additional income to farmers,” KTDA power chairman, Eng Joseph Wakimani, said.
KTDA Power was incorporated in January 2010 and invests in the energy sector and manages small hydro-power projects owned by Factory Companies.