Bamburi Cement's new solar plants to help cut power costs

Bamburi Cement CEO Mohit Kapoor (right) and MOMNAI Energy Ltd Director Chad Bannick sign agreements allowing the construction of two solar power plants. [James Wanzala, Standard]

Bamburi Cement Plc’s solar photovoltaic (PV) power project is now ready to commence construction, following the satisfaction of all conditions for its kickoff.

This is after the company this week signed the land lease agreement, connection facilities agreement, conditions precedence satisfaction and construction start date letters with the independent power producer MOMNAI Energy Ltd.

The project aims to save on power costs as well as contribute to Net Zero carbon emissions by switching to renewable energy. The MOMNAI company was established for the project by Frontier Energy, an African renewable energy developer and investor.

The signing marks the start of a one-year construction period for the solar PV Plants of 14.5 megawatts (MW) and 5MW capacities, located in Bamburi’s Mombasa and Athi River sites respectively, two years after the two parties signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

In addition, the PPA has been granted licences by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) for power generation and distribution and supply, Nema and approvals by respective counties for land change of use.

Bamburi Cement Chief Executive Mohit Kapoor highlighted the project milestones as a critical step towards the realisation of the company’s energy efficiency ambitions.

 “This is one of Kenya’s largest commercial solar projects undertaken by a cement company and the first in Sub-Saharan Africa within the Holcim Group,” said Mohit.

“It will account for 30 per cent of our total power supply, resulting in energy cost savings, reduce load shedding and contribute to reaching net zero carbon emissions.”

Bamburi Strategy and Business Development Director Miriam Ngolo said the project aims to achieve recurrent power-saving costs for the cement firm.

“This strategic partnership with MOMNAI Energy will accelerate our decarbonisation journey and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the use of zero-carbon renewable energy sources,” noted Ms Ngolo.

Under the pact, MOMNAI Energy will be responsible for financing the construction, management, and maintenance costs of the project, while Bamburi Cement will lease out land in Mombasa and Nairobi plants sites for the Solar plants.