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Cheap geothermal power key to local economic investment in Naivasha, Kenya

Settlement at Naivasha, Kenya (source: flickr/ Stefan Magdalinski, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 9 Jan 2020

Naivasha is emerging as the new investment hub in Kenya, and the availability of cheap geothermal power has been one of the most vital reasons

Naivasha is quickly gaining reputation as an emerging investment hub, thanks in no small part to resources like cheap geothermal power, vast land, and easy accessibility to Nairobi. With the influx of investors, the lakeside town has started to shed its violent and crime-ridden past and instead are showcasing their prowess and production capabilities.

Naivasha is now home to more than 50 flower farms, the Keroche Breweries, Mashwa Breweries, Plantec Limited (Kenya’s biggest producer of fruit and vegetable seedlings), Solinic Solar Company, and Roka Industries.

Industrial parks

The government had previously set aside 1000 acres of land for the Naivasha Industrial Park, just a few kilometers from the Mai Mahiu town, which convinced the Naivasha-based Flower Business Park to invest Sh1 billion for an expansion plan. From scratch, the park has no bloomed to seven flower farms and a multi-billion seedlings plant.

A few kilometers away is the Mai Mahiu Industrial Park, the establishment of which was made possible by the 1000-acre donation made by Kedong Ranch.

Railway connection to Nairobi

Another key factor to the development of Naivasha was the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway from Nairobi to Mai Mahiu-Naivasha industrial park. This allows cargo to be transported all the way from Mombasa to the Naivasha SGR terminus Shortly following the launch of the SGR, a local entrepreneur followed up with plants to set a up a textile factory in the industrial park.

Cheap geothermal power

“Currently the biggest challenge facing manufacturers is the high electricity charges and if they can get it cheaper in Naivasha using the geothermal power, then this is the place to be,” said economic expert Washington Ochieng.

Just a few kilometers away from the industrial park, the Akiira Geothermal Company has already started plants to set up a Sh9.8 billion geothermal plant. Aside from providing cheap electricity, this project will also open more job opportunities.

Source: The Standard