Toyota Tsusho Plans Bid to Jointly Build Kenya Geothermal Plant

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The Kenyan unit of Toyota Tsusho Corp. intends to bid for a 140-megawatt geothermal power plant that the Kenya Electricity Generating Co. plans to develop through a public-private partnership.

The Japanese conglomerate is waiting for KenGen to invite bids for the facility known as Olkaria VI, the company’s chief in Kenya, Dennis Awori, said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. Details on the investment and structure of the partnership will be announced after the project is tendered, he said.

Toyota Tsusho and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. constructed KenGen’s largest geothermal project, which has been injecting 280 megawatts of power into the grid since 2015.

The Tokyo-based group renamed its operations on the continent CFAO Africa after acquiring the eponymous French firm. Its interests in Kenya include automotive, health care, agribusiness and renewable energy businesses.

CFAO’s foray into renewable energy includes plans to develop commercial solar plants for companies seeking to cut power bills, Awori said. The Kenyan unit is already in talks with a sugar miller and an auto distributor to install such plants.

“We will then sell any excess power to the grid,” he said. Draft energy legislation under discussion by Kenyan lawmakers provides for net metering, where renewable-energy producers get reimbursed for surplus electricity injected into the grid.

The group aims to grow Kenya’s contribution to African revenue to 10 percent in coming years, from about 6 percent, according to Richard Bielle, chairman and CEO of CFAO Africa. Source: Bloomberg

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