Construction to be kicked off for industrial park near geothermal plants at Olkaria, Kenya

Olkaria geothermal plant, Naivasha, Kenya (source: Lydur Skulason, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 12 Dec 2019

With a finished train connection to Nairobi and the harbour of Mombasa, construction of the Naivasha Industrial Park in Kenya is to be kicked off next week by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The park will profit from lower priced geothermal power by nearby plants at Olkaria.

As reported today from Kenya, construction of the Naivasha Industrial Park will be officially kicked off next week. This will set the momentum for the development of the first special economic zone in Nakuru County, northwest of Nairobi, the government official said on Tuesday.

Peter Munya, Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary said the project will go a long way in establishing industries that will improve the region’s economy.

Munya said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for the development of the Naivasha Industrial Park on Dec. 17.

He said the president will also witness a maiden trip for the freight train which will make its way from Mombasa through to Nairobi and Naivasha’s Inland Container Depot (ICD).

Munya said the Naivasha’s dry port will ease the movement of goods and boost trade between Kenya and South-Sudan.

Munya said the project will lead to the uptake of raw materials locally available within the region.

“Further, the special economic zone is designed to provide an institutional framework, physical infrastructure and administrative services that will ensure a completely smooth operation to support the various economic activities within the Industrial park,” he added.

He said with readily available human resources and expertise from the region, the project is set to provide a source of livelihood for the residents within the region and beyond.

Munya said the issuance of the space within the economic zones will be open for both local and international investors without discrimination to ensure healthy competitiveness.

He said prospective local and foreign investors had already expressed interest in establishing different industries at the planned industrial park.

“Various local firms and foreign investors have shown interest in putting up industries within the area, I welcome investors to set their base in readiness for the project which will create thousands of employment opportunities and boost massive industrial development in the country,” he said.

He added that the companies within the zone will enjoy tax concessions as well as direct connection to cheaper geothermal power from the Olkaria plant. In how far the park will also be able to utilise steam from the nearby geothermal plants is so far unclear.

Among the projects announced is a brewery by Danish Brewing Company E.A., so a statement on LinkedIn. The company plans the establishment of a brewery at the Naivasha Industrial park that will produce Tuborg, Carlsberg, Holsten, Kronenbourg beers using locally-sourced sorghum from 17,000 farmers in the Farmers Outreach Program. The company will also employ 350 Kenyans.

Another industrial park concept is set up at the greenhouse operations of Oserian at Olkaria.