Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) and East Africa Maltings have sought regulatory approval to generate their own power at two plants in Nairobi and Kisumu.
The two East African Breweries Limited (EABL) subsidiaries plan to set up renewable energy generators at their Ruaraka and Kisumu plants.
Continuing a trend of major firms seeking to generate their own power, the companies noted that the move was meant to counter power outages. The switch, particularly to solar, has caused jitters at Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) where industrial operations account for 54.8 per cent of sales.
“The purpose of this power generation is for own use as a backup during power outages from the national electricity provider to ensure continuity of operations,” the brewers’ notice read in part.
Kenya Breweries Limited expects to generate 9.3 Megawatts at its Ruaraka plant in Nairobi and 2.4 Megawatts from a solar plant in Kisumu.
East African Maltings, on the other hand, plans to generate 2.2 Megawatts of electricity from a KVA generator at its Kampala Road plant.
The Energy Act, 2019, gave firms the greenlight to generate their own power. State-owned monopoly Kenya Power has often faced criticism over high power costs and regular outages.
Numerous firms have in recent times initiated plans to generate their own power citing related challenges.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied systems, in particular, have proved popular with factories among other large operations.
London Distillers Ltd for example installed a 1 MWp roof solar system in Athi River, stating that it would save them at least Ksh18.4 million annually over the system lifespan of 25 years.
Williamson Tea unveiled a 1MW solar farm in Changoi, stating it would slash its energy bills by a third.
Garden City Mall in Nairobi set up a $1.9 million (Sh207.8 million) solar carport to generate 1,256 megawatt hours annually from 3,300 solar panels installed on the topmost car park shade, a move expected to save Ksh31.6 million annually.