NMS, KenGen garbage power plant to cost Sh22 billion

KenGen head office in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

A garbage-powered electricity generation plant that KenGen and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) are planning to set up in Nairobi’s Ruai is set to cost Sh22.41 billion, according to disclosures by the company.

The two entities signed a deal in August 2020 where KenGen would finance, build and operate the plant while NMS would provide the land as well as supply municipal waste once the plant becomes operational.

NMS will also construct a dedicated lane from the Outering Road junction to Ruai to enhance flow of trucks delivering waste to the power plant.

“The project with an installed capacity of 45MW shall be constructed over a period of three years at a cost of $198.3 million (Sh22.41 billion) with 70 per cent of it being debt at an interest rate of six per cent with a payback period of 15 years,” said KenGen in an environmental and social impact assessment (Esia) report lodged with National Environment Management Authority (Nema) as it seeks approvals to build the plant.

The waste-to-energy plant was initially planned to be built at the Dandora dumpsite but this later changed to Ruai Sewage Treatment plant after the High Court ordered NMS to shut down the dumpsite and relocate it to a more environmentally-friendly location.

It will be built on a 27-hectare piece of land owned by Nairobi County Government in Ruai, where Athi Water Works Development Agency operates the sewage treatment plant. The sewage plant sits on 4,000 acres.

In the Esia report, KenGen said it would take waste from Dandora and use it as feedstock, that will then be burned to generate energy at the plant.

The facility will have capacity to take up 3,000 tonnes of waste per day. The Dandora dumpsite is estimated to receive about 2,200 tonnes per day from different areas in Nairobi.

It is estimated that slightly over half of the solid waste generated in Nairobi is collected, leaving residents with the headache of dealing with the uncollected garbage.

The report said the plant would help the county government to deal with the garbage, whose management appears to be getting out of control and causing untold health and environmental damage.

“The municipal waste-to-energy power plant facility...is to mitigate the environmental pollution occurring due to the poor waste disposal,” said KenGen.

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