In East Africa, the Kenyan government has approved Sh6.7 billion ($65 million) towards the country’s last mile connectivity project.
The loan signed with European Investment Bank (EIB) concerns a multiple scheme electrification project, targeting universal access to electricity for the Kenyan population by 2020, the Standard reported.
According to media, the funding is part of a European ‘blended’ financing package comprising of a Shs10 billion (97 million) loan from the Agence Française de Développement (AfD) and a Shs 3.3 billion ($32 million) grant from the European Union (EU).
EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom, responsible for operations in East Africa, said: “Kenya is increasingly becoming a hub for the region on many levels.
“We as a bank must look at this from a very basic point of view, namely that there is a young and growing population with enormous potential, and that you need investments to support that momentum, both directly and indirectly.”
Rural electrification project
Through this rural electrification project, Ballekom highlighted that over 300,000 Kenyan households up to 1.5 million people – will soon be connected to the electricity grid.
He added: “Two further projects that we have committed to will improve access to Mombasa harbour and support geothermal energy at Olkaria.
“Contributing to key infrastructure is one of the ways in which the EIB supports basic services, entrepreneurship and competitiveness in Kenya and we are happy to be able to partner up with local and European partners to achieve this.”
Extension of geothermal plant
Media further reported that Treasury has signed letters of intent for two advanced projects, one being an extension of the existing Olkaria I geothermal plant.
The financing, a total amount of €113 million ($122 million) is reported will support the addition of a 70MWe turbine, as well as the construction of the necessary wells, steam gathering system and interconnection facilities.