Kenya: East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) is set to construct a US$9.13m power plant that is expected to reduce its annual power bill by about US$5.70m. The 4MW power plant will run on waste gases generated by the company's Athi River cement plant via waste heat recovery (WHR) system. Construction is scheduled to start in September 2014 and is expected to take one year.
"The new power plant will have a huge impact on our operational costs because its output will translate to about 40% of our current total energy requirements," said EAPCC's managing director Kephar Tande.
Around 20 - 25% of the project costs will be funded from internal savings with the rest of the funds coming from commercial loans. EAPCC also hopes to permanently address the problem of frequent power outages, which have posed major problems at its clinker plant. EAPCC currently consumes about 13MW of power supplied from the national grid to run its main installations, including a 1700t/day capacity kiln.
Tande said that the new power plant would help to stabilise the company's operations as it eyes expansion of its overall cement production capacity to 2Mt/yr by 2017 from the present 1.3Mt/yr. EAPCC plans to begin procurement for a new clinker plant near Bisil, Kajiado Country, Kenya in September 2014 at an estimated cost of US$171m. "We hope to conclude the feasibility study on the new clinker plant in Bisil by end of July 2014 and move to the next stage," said Tande.
Also on the cards is the construction of a second cement plant in the Nooleleshuani area of Kajiado County by 2016. The proposed plant site is next to the limestone-rich Maasai Plains, which are the major source of raw material for the five cement companies based in Athi River.
Kenya's power shortage has held back industrial expansion for decades despite the availability of huge energy reserves such as wind, coal and geothermal. The energy sector, though critical in uplifting the country's development, has registered slow growth due to the high initial capital requirements and inability to mobilise adequate financial resources to undertake large-scale investment.