Kenya eyes natural gas in plan to phase out costly heavy fuel plants

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will become an essential element in Kenya’s energy generation mix as the government moves to lower costs and reduce the impact of extreme weather on electricity generation.

In the 2023 Budget Policy Statement (BPS), the Treasury presents electricity as a critical infrastructural enabler whose reliability and affordability will be enhanced by LNG utilization.

“To improve reliability and bring down the cost of power, the government will develop a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) storage facility in Mombasa, with a view to phasing out heavy fuel oil (HFO) from the power generation portfolio. This will also contribute to meeting Kenya’s emission reduction commitments,” reads the final BPS note.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir recently revealed that electricity prices are bound to increase slightly due to increased reliance on diesel generators for energy production occasioned by reduced water levels in the Masinga dam, partly due to ongoing drought due to extreme weather conditions.

“As you are all aware, for the last five years, we have had a serious failure in the rains, and this has caused low water levels.

“The only challenge is that we might get power being slightly expensive because we are ramping up the diesel more than we ordinarily should be doing,” said Mr Chirchir.

Over the years, Kenya has been embracing renewable sources of energy with over 90 percent of the country’s power coming from sources including solar, wind and geothermal.

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