KENYA – Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) and East Africa Maltings Limited (EAML), subsidiaries of East African Breweries Limited (EABL) are seeking regulatory approval for self-electricity generation to backup supply from the national grid, Kenya Power.
In a notice to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the two sister companies have indicated that the move was necessitated by the regular power disruptions it experiences leading to stalling of their operations.
“The purpose of the electric power generation is for own use as backup during power outages from the national electricity provider to ensure continuity of operations,” the pair of firms said in a statement.
Once the regulator gives node to the request, EAML, supplier of quality brewing raw materials in the form of malt, barley and sorghum to the brewing units of the EABL group, is expected to set up a power generation plant at its premise in Nairobi, whose total capacity is estimated at 2.2 megawatts (MW).
KBL on other hand will generate at least 9.3 megawatts at its Nairobi plant and a 2.4-megawatt from solar power in Kisumu, reports the Star News.
“The purpose of the electric power generation is for own use as backup during power outages from the national electricity provider to ensure continuity of operations.”KBL, EAML
The request for the power generation licenses mirrors the pursuit for alternative power sources by firms stifled by a combination of inefficient power supply from the national grid or high monthly bills.
More firms are riding on the Energy Act, 2019 that gives them the freedom to generate their own power, easing over reliance on Kenya Power.
Some of the food companies that have already turned to alternative sources of power include Mumias Sugar Company which generates electricity from bagasse, London Distillers and Kenafric industries, among many others.
Late last year, the power distributor lamented the switch to solar move, saying that some of its industrial customers, who account for about 54.8 per cent of its sales revenues are gradually shifting to own-generated solar power thus denying them the much-needed revenue.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s leading sugar miller, West Kenya Sugar Company is planning to set up a second power generator of 12MW, doubling its generation capacity to 24MW, to feed its sister company, Rail Paper Mills factory.
The miller uses waste cane fibre as fuel and the generated power supplies the factory with a power demand of 5MW while the balance of 7MW being unutilized, which it plans to channel to the paper mill which has a current demand of 3.5MW.
To facilitate the transmission, the parent company of the sugar miller, Rai Group is seeking to put a 30-kilometre power line between the sugar factory in Kakamega County and its paper mill in Bungoma county, West of Kenya.
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