By Juma Kwayera

The Government has approved the construction of a 2.2 megawatts hydroelectric power generation plant on River Kapkateny on the slopes of Mt Elgon in Bungoma County. The project will cost Sh500 million.

In a letter dated June 6, Energy Ministry approved A M Ventures expression of interest under its Feed-in Tariff Policy.

"The acceptance of your EOI (expression of interest) means that you have been given a non-renewable of first refusal in accordance with clause 85(e) and you are requested for a detailed feasibility studies..." the ministry says in its reply to A M Ventures application dated May 23.

The ministry wants A M Ventures to submit findings of its feasibility, detailing transmission line and the interconnection facilities for completeness. The project is due for inspection in three months.

"In completing your progress and final feasibility study reports, please include the original and seven copies to facilitate the committee work," the letter singed by Energy Permanent Secretary, Patrick Wanyoike, says.

A M Ventures chief executive, Angaluki Muaka, says in a statement the company has completed feasibility studies and was getting ready to construct the plant, which has the capacity to light homes for two million people.

Feasibility study

"The company has completed a pre-feasibility study of the project site and appointed the financial consulting firm – Viability Africa – to help raise the Sh500 million required to develop the project," the statement said.

Viability Africa is the Nairobi-based subsidiary of Sustainable Energy Financing of Holland, Michigan, USA. Project development will commence on August 1, and power production to start in 24 months, Muaka said.

"The Ministry understands that the availability and security of affordable energy will be critical to the country’s economic growth," Muaka said.

A M Ventures is a holding company founded in 2007 to explore investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy. Sectors of interest to the company are energy, the environment, hospitality and education.

"Although the firm is currently engaged in other investment projects in the country, the hydropower is its flagship," said Muaka.

Mt Elgon Bungoma County River Kapkateny hydroelectric power