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Kenya allocates US$135million for geothermal projects in new budget

Olkaria 3 plant, Kenya
Alexander Richter 10 Jun 2010

Kenya allocates US$135 million for geothermal projects as part of a 20% share in the new budget for the country allocated for infrastructure projects.

… which could help spur the planned geothermal development in the country. “Kenya Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday the government would scale up expenditure on infrastructure projects to hasten growth and expand opportunities to its citizens.”, so a recent article in Reuters.

“Businessmen often complain that bad roads, an inefficient port and railway system, and expensive electricity that suffers intermittent outages as key impediments to production.

Kenyatta unveiled a 996.82 billion shilling (US$11.5 bn) budget on Thursday which he said would put the economy back on firm growth.

“I have accordingly allocated in this budget 182 billion shillings (US$2.1bn), which represents an increase of 20 billion or 20.1 percent over the amount allocated in 2009/10, toward financing prioritised infrastructure development countrywide,” Kenyatta said.

A total 78.6 billion shillings (US$914million) will be spent on roads in the coming year, 20 billion above was allocated for the current period.

Kenyatta said the government had constructed 715 km of roads this fiscal year.

Energy infrastructure projects will receive 34.1 billion, with 15.6 billion targeting the national transmission network, and another 11.6 billion for geothermal projects.

Together with a private sector player, the government intends to develop 500 MW of additional geothermal capacity over the next four years. It will also encourage development of biomass power from municipal water, Kenyatta said.

Treasury provided 1.9 billion shillings for a commuter railway line in the capital, which he said would be complete in the fourth quarter of 2010/11.

“Of course, strong spending on infrastructure was expected, and the focus on roads and alternative energy sources are particularly positive,” said Simon Freemantle, an economist at CFC Stanbic Bank.”

Source: Reuters