Utilities of Kenya
Electricity is generated by hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind power plants. Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is the leading supply company, now operating in a liberalised market
in which four other companies account for approximately 20 per cent of electricity. The Kenya Power and Lighting Company transmits, distributes and retails electricity throughout the country, while the Energy Regulatory Commission is the regulator for the energy sector. The use of public-assisted Independent Power Projects in the sector has solved funding gaps for investment in electricity generation. Completed and operational IPPs include the 74 MW Tsavo/Kipevu plant and the Mumias 34 MW power plant, while projects on the National Priority List of PPP projects that have been approved by the government include Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Menengai Geothermal Development Project, at 400 MW and 800 MW partnered by the Geothermal Development Company and the 800 MW LNG Power Plant at Dongo Kundu partnered by KenGen. Coal plants and wind facilities are also on the list for development.
Kenya’s total requirement of oil and gas is imported, mainly from the Middle East. About half of the country’s total fuel needs are refined in Kenya at the refinery of Kenya Petroleum Refineries, which is owned by the Government of Kenya, BP, Chevron and Shell. The major players in the transportation of oil are the Kenya Pipeline Company and Kenya Railways Corporation. State-owned National Oil Corporation of Kenya competes in the retail market with international oil companies; it is mandated to work for the rationalisation of fuel prices.
Eight regional water services boards supply water to the district and municipal water service providers, which supply water directly to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers, as well as sewage facilities. The Water Services Regulatory Authority regulates the sector, licensing the boards and approving agreements between them and the service providers. The priority government approved project Nairobi Bulk Supply (Athi Water Services Board) will see the construction of dams at Maragwa and Ndarugu to supply Nairobi County with bulk water on a public–private partnership basis. The Lake Basin Development Authority and Kerio Valley Development Authority are among the other districts planning dam construction. In the area of solid waste management, Nairobi and Mombasa counties are both due to set up solid waste management projects with private partners.
Kenya’s telecommunications sector has been liberalised into several competitive private providers. There are seven main telephone lines, 302 mobile cellular subscribers and 80 internet users for every 1,000 people (2007). Mobile telephony has grown very rapidly, showing compound annual growth of 57 per cent over the period 2002–07. Mobile service providers include Kencell, Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Airtel, with internet service providers including Africa Online, Swift Global and Wananchi. Safaricom, the biggest mobile operator in Kenya, changed from a private Limited Liability Company in 2002 to a 60 per cent held public company. There are 14 personal computers per 1,000 people (2005).