Kenya signs China nuclear power deal


The Kenyan government has signed a deal with China as part of the country’s plan to have a nuclear power station by 2025, the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) says.

Kenya plans to set up its first nuclear power plant in the country by 2025, with a capacity of 1000 MW, the board said. It went ahead to state that it has ambitions to boost this to 4000 MW by 2033, and also to make nuclear electricity a key component of the country’s energy production.

The memorandum of understanding, signed in China, will enable Kenya obtain expertise from China by way of training and skills development, technical support areas such as site selection for the country’s nuclear power plant as well as feasibility studies.

The East African nation has already signed nuclear power co-operation agreements with Slovakia and South Korea.

As part of the deals, more than 10 Kenyan students are studying nuclear power engineering in South Korea.

In addition to oil-fired stations, Kenya has in the recent past focused on boosting sources from renewables such as geothermal, hydro and wind power.

With its fast growing population, the country’s electricity demand is climbing rapidly, and its hydro-electric capacity is strained by droughts and the impact of deforestation on rivers.

Statistics show that just around three in every 10 Kenyans have access to electricity according to the World Bank. This figure drops to two in every ten in the poorest rural areas.

Currently, South Africa is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa with active nuclear power plants.