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Chinese firm to build 50MW solar plant in Kenya

The Kenyan ministry of energy on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Chinese firm to pave way for the construction of a 50 Megawatt solar plant in northeast Kenya’s Garissa County.

Cabinet Secretary for energy and petroleum Charles Keter said during the signing ceremony that the largest China-funded solar plant in east and central Africa will advance green agenda and inclusive development in Kenya.

“The solar project will transform the lives of Kenyans in many ways. It will create green jobs, and expand access to power to regions that are off grid and contribute to lowering of carbon emissions,” Keter said.

Keter said feasibility studies on viability of the project have been finalized to pave way for its commissioning at the end of this year.

China has provided capital and technical assistance to help Kenya exploit its untapped renewable energy potential.

According to China’s Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC), the Chinese contractor, the 135-million-U.S. dollar solar plant will be fed to the national grid and is expected to produce enough power to light up 625,000 homesteads.

“The China-funded mega solar project will foster technology and skills exchange in order to ensure Kenya becomes a hub for development of cleaner energy sources,” Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said during the signing ceremony.

He said the solar plant project will strengthen Sino-Kenya economic and trade cooperation.

Liu also reaffirmed China’s commitment to strengthen energy cooperation with Kenya, adding that Sino-Kenya energy cooperation has “bright prospects”.

source:xinhuanet|01 october 2016

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