This is according to Mr Jay Ireland, GE President and CEO for Africa. GE is the diamond sponsor for the 15th annual East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in Nairobi from 10-11 September.
More than 500 power professionals will attend the event which will address the various challenges in the region’s power industry, including unstable and unreliable electricity supply which is hindering economic growth, as well as the high demands being put on already aged infrastructure, causing frequent black outs.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Hon. Minister Davis Chirchir and Uganda’s Minister of Energy, Hon. Minister Irene Muloni, are heading up a top level government and industry contingent who will address and participate at the event. They will join other regional ministerial dignitaries in a panel discussion about East Africa’s new energy roadmap during the opening session.
GE excited about doing business in Africa
GE’s Jay Ireland says the company is excited about doing business in Africa because “the East Africa region is experiencing steady economic growth thereby increasing the need for an improved infrastructure and access to world class technological solutions. These needs can be partially and in some instances fully met by GE’s diverse technologies, services and solutions in key sectors.”
He continues: “last year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with Kenya to develop projects in key sectors such as power, rail, healthcare, aviation and training & capacity building to deliver on the country’s Vision 2030 plan. These sectors are well positioned to propel the East Africa Region and in particular Kenya to be a top 30 global economy by the year 2030. We are therefore excited to be an integral part of contributing towards supporting the region to attain the projected positive economic growth.”
In Tanzania, GE recently signed a 400MW Joint Development Agreement with Symbion Power Tanzania for the development of a natural gas-fired power plant for Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO). This partnership is part of USA President [.]’s recently announced “Power Africa” initiative aimed at combining $7 billion in U.S. support with more than $9 billion in commitments from the private sector to help U.S. companies build independent power plants in the region.
Successful track record in Tanzania
According to the GE President and CEO for Africa the company has a successful track record in Tanzania with our Aero- derivative gas turbine technology which is running in the Symbion plant in Ubungo (112MW) and Songas (140MW) respectively. He continues: “we also have a great waste to energy project here in Kenya at the Biojule Farm which is using two of GE’s Jenbacher biogas engines to generate 2.8 MW of electricity from vegetable waste. The project, owned by Tropical Power, marks the first biogas engine project in sub-Saharan Africa for Clarke Energy, GE’s authorized Jenbacher gas engine distributor in the region.”
Achieving stable power supply
Other regional projects that GE is excited about include the recent partnering with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to launch and co-fund the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge (the Power Africa Challenge), a three-year, USD $2 million challenge. The funding will award 20 or more grants of up to $100,000 each to indigenous African organizations providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.
Says Jay Ireland: “we are also supplying Safaricom with GE Durathon batteries which will capacitate the Safaricom network to run efficiently during power outages. The battery provides reliable and cost-effective power at reduced fuel costs and is one of the first batteries in the world to be designed specifically for Charge Discharge Cycling (CDC) telecom applications.”
EAPIC: likeminded power professionals
EAPIC’s programme director, Christa Robijn says “the East African Power Industry Convention is the platform for likeminded power professionals to connect and find solutions to the region’s pressing energy challenges. GE’s participation as diamond sponsor is complementary to what we want to achieve: stable power supply that will drive the economy in East Africa. Their message of the importance of public and private sector partnerships in the energy sector dovetails nicely with our event theme, namely: “Security East Africa’s energy future through private sector participation”.
Event dates and location:
Conference days: 10-11 September 2013
Pre-conference workshop: 9 September 2013
Site visit: 12 September 2013
Location: Safari Park Hotel, Kasarani Off Thika Road, Nairobi, Kenya