South Korea’s state owned Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) will set up a nuclear power plant in Kenya, South Korean government has said.
The agreement comes following meetings between Kenya and South Korea to improve Kenya’s power generation due to growing demand.
The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board and KEPCO have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the construction of nuclear projects and share expertise, Reuters reported.
Kenya’s installed power capacity is currently about 2,400MW while demand stands at about 1600MW. Demand is expected to hit 15,000MW in 2030 due to an ambitious rural electrification project that is almost covering the whole country.
Multiple power shortages coupled with high cost of energy are hurting the country’s competitiveness in the region and leading to capital flight, however an improvement in political stability and transparency has helped to double foreign direct investments in the country.
Kenya has been attracting major world companies most of which are service companies, but manufacturing firms have not set up shop largely due to insufficient infrastructure such as affordable electricity.
Kenya is seeking to stabilise supply by increasing its energy mix which is now comprised of geothermal power, hydroelectricity, wind energy, thermal and solar power and an upcoming coal power plant.
Activists have however questioned the safety of nuclear projects following the Fukushima disaster that has seen German and Japan reduce their nuclear footprint in their national grid on safety concerns.