By Antynet Ford

 Bamburi Cement’s solar photovoltaic (PV) power project is now ready to begin construction following the satisfaction of all conditions precedent to its kick-off.

The company has today signed the Land Lease Agreement (LLA), Connection Facilities Agreement (CFA), Conditions Precedence (CP) Satisfaction and Construction Start Date Letters with the independent power producer MOMNAI Energy Limited, a company established for the project by Frontier Energy, a leading African renewable energy developer and investor.

The signing marks the start of a one year construction period for the Solar PV Plants of 14.5MW and 5MW capacities, located  in Bamburi’s Mombasa and Athi River sites respectively, two years after the two parties signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

In addition, the PPA has been granted licences by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) for Electric Power Generation and Electric Power Distribution and Supply, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), and approvals by respective counties for Land Change of Use.

Bamburi Cement PLC CEO Mohit Kapoor highlighted the project milestones as a critical step towards the realization of the company’s energy efficiency ambitions. “This is one of Kenya’s largest commercial solar projects undertaken by a cement company and the first in Sub Saharan Africa within the Holcim Group.” It will account for 30% of our total power supply, resulting in massive energy cost savings, reduce the business impact of load shedding and significantly contributing to reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by shifting to renewable energy,” Mr. Mohit explained.

Bamburi Cement’s project lead and Strategy & Business Development Director Miriam Ngolo said the project aims to achieve recurrent power-saving costs for Bamburi Cement. “This strategic partnership with MOMNAI Energy will accelerate our decarbonisation journey and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the use of zero-carbon renewable energy sources,” added Ms. Ngolo.

Under the agreement, MOMNAI Energy will be responsible for financing the construction, management, and maintenance costs of the entire project, while Bamburi Cement will lease out land in Mombasa and Nairobi plants sites for the Solar PV Plants.

Frontier Energy Investment Director, Anders Hauch, said,

“As a committed developer and investor in renewable energy in Africa, we are excited to start construction of our 14th renewable energy project and our first project with a private off-taker. That it is also one of the largest private off-take projects in Africa and supplying the global leading cement group, Holcim, helping it reduce its climate impact, makes us extra proud. We will continue to develop more renewable energy for utilities and private off-takers in Africa to combat climate change and provide affordable energy to people and businesses.”

Frontier Energy is a leading developer and investor of renewable energy and energy storage in Sub-Saharan Africa with capital from European development banks and institutional investors.

The project green light comes following the release of the company’s 2022 Sustainability Report that details its green growth trajectory geared towards decarbonizing its business operations to achieve net-zero carbon (CO2) emissions by 2050. In 2022, the company lowered its carbon emissions by 3.2% and achieved a 5.5% increase in the use of alternative fuels in its operations.

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