East African railway network to connect to Olkaria boosting development

East African railway network to connect to Olkaria boosting development Railway lines, Kenya (source: flickr/Luca Esposti, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 17 May 2016

The ambitious East African railway project, to connect Olkaria with Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, and later other countries in the region, could provide a big boost to geothermal development in Kenya and the region.

We reported on the ambitious railway project in Kenya before. Initially planned as a rail connection between the Kenyan harbour city of Mombasa with the nations capital Nairobi, it was decided to extend the line to the market town of Naivasha in proximity to the Olkaria geothermal field.

Not only will this line help in moving equipment for geothermal development in Olkaria from the industrial harbour of Mombasa, but also be a big boost to plans for an industrial park by KenGen in the region, and in turn likely speed up geothermal development in the region.

Supported by cheaper geothermal power, and now a railway connection, this could really boost up industrial investment to help on economic development.

But the interesting fact is that the railway connection is also planned to connect South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, with great implications for these countries as well. The complete railway project is estimated to cost around $13 billion which will be mostly funded by China.

It is expected that the Mombasa-Nairobi stretch will be completed by June 2017 and hopefully soon thereafter the connection to Naivasha.

Now one can only hope this becomes an electric train powered by geothermal power from the region, that really would make the story perfect.


Source: CNN