KenGen is a public company listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange with the Government of Kenya owning 70% shareholding and the public 30%. It is the main generator of electric power in the country with an installed capacity of 1,016 Megawatts made up of hydropower, geothermal, thermal and wind. KenGen controls about 75% of the electric energy sales market in Kenya.
The national electricity access rate is currently about 15%, with access in rural areas estimated at 4%. This implies a significant demand growth potential and the government, through various agencies such as the Rural Electrification Authority, continues to drive efforts towards connectivity.
Owing to the country’s continued economic growth, the electric power sub-sector has experienced significant growth in demand over the last three years, with the current demand growth being estimated at 8% per annum.
The forecast projects an energy demand of 22,310.2GWh in 2020 and 48,775GWh in 2030. The peak demand is forecast to increase from 1,193.8MW in 2008 to 3,560.6MW in 2020 and 7,795.3MW in 2030. This is an indication that investments in power projects must be implemented in order to meet the demand.
Under the Vision 2030 National Development Plan, electric power provision has been highlighted as a major pillar (a key enabler) in the realization of national development. Development projects recommended under Vision 2030 will increase demand on Kenya’s energy supply. The country must, therefore, generate more energy and increase efficiency in its consumption.
Currently, demand for power supersedes supply and this has resulted in the Government of Kenya putting stop-gap measures to prevent load-shedding by inviting emergency power supply. The economy currently services 150 MW of emergency power to fill the supply gap. This measure is expensive but necessary at this point in time. However, it is in the country’s best interest to make use of emergency power as temporary as possible. KenGen must therefore accelerate its investment programme to bridge the gap as well as meet the growing demand
The company plans to increase its installed capacity by over 500 MW by 2013 and over 2,000 MW by 2020. This expansion requires significant capital.
It is estimated that the capacity expansion of 500 MW will require an investment of over US$ 1 billion, while the 2,000 MW increase will require an investment of over US$ 7 billion.
KenGen has therefore embarked on a financing plan for capacity expansion and the first phase will be the roll-out of a Kshs. 15 billion Bond, which will be listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The funds will be utilized in part-financing of the first horizon of the expansion programme.