Going green: Kenchic's solar plant to save money and fight climate change

Kenchic's multi-million solar power integration project at its processing plant in Kilimambogo, Thika. [Standard reporter]

Kenya’s major poultry company, Kenchic, has embraced solar energy to reduce production costs and its carbon footprint. In collaboration with Chloride Exide Limited, the company launched a multi-million solar power integration project at its processing plant in Kilimambogo, Thika.

According to Kenchic Managing Director Jim Tozer, the company is set to save up to Sh30 million in power bills annually from the project which has cost them $1 million (Sh160.5 million).

The company received a grant worth $250,000 (Sh40.6 million) from the Japanese Government for the project.

The solar panels handover ceremony was graced by the Principal Secretary State Department of Livestock Development Jonathan  Mueke, who was the chief guest.

Mueke hailed Kenchic for taking a bold move to adopt solar energy and urged other companies to follow suit.

“I’m very excited because this innovation talks to three parts of our government agenda. Adopting such systems demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility and aligns with our agenda to maximise production while maintaining competitiveness in export markets,” said Mueke.

“By going green, Kenchic has been able to reduce its carbon footprint significantly, it has reduced the cost of production and that’s in line with the government’s agenda of lowering the cost of living. Lastly, because of the savings Kenchic have made by 33 per cent, it means they have unlocked capital that they can use to buy more raw materials from our farmers.”

The 1.32MW Grid Tie Solar Power System which has been integrated into the Kenchic’s hatchery and processing plant is designed to operate during daylight hours. The solar project is projected to generate an impressive 1,550MWh of energy, offsetting a substantial portion of Kenchic’s energy demands.

“This is an opportunity to reduce costs within our business and hopefully pass it on to the consumers, and to make sure we are safe in our operations going forward. This is a return on investment for about four years,” said Tozer.

“We expect to cut down our power expenses at the processing plant and hatchery by Sh18 million and Sh14 million respectively. We had budgeted around 25 percent reduction,  but so far we are enjoying better figures of up to 33 percent. We are looking to save Sh30 million plus per annum going forward.

“I think there’s an opportunity to make it more efficient because we will be able to harness more solar energy for our other operations.  So, this is just but a start. It’s a passion commitment to reduce costs in the business and also to ensure that we go clean energy for the future.”

On his part, Chloride Exide General Manager Charles Ngare said: “Our collaboration with Kenchic on this solar integration project underscores Chloride Exide’s commitment to providing innovative energy solutions that drive sustainable development. We are proud to bring our expertise in energy systems to complement Kenchic’s vision.

He said the project is a testament to the power of strategic partnerships and the impact that can be achieved when organisations unite to address environmental challenges.

‘’Together, we illuminate the path to a cleaner, more sustainable future for Kenya and we are proud to be associated with Kenchic and support their vision for a safer and more sustainable poultry industry.” 

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