Kenya inks fertiliser and energy deals

Friday, March 17th, 2023 01:30 | By
Image used for representational purposes. PHOTO/Courtesy

President William Ruto has signed an agreement enabling an Australian green energy company, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), to develop a 300 MW capacity generation green ammonia and fertiliser facility at the Olkaria geothermal field.

The investment support and implementation agreement will progress the two projects, whose framework was agreed and signed during the United Nations Climate Change or Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The summit in the Egyptian resort town was tempered by a wider agreement – the “Sharm el-Sheikh implementation plan” – that excluded any mention of winding down the use of fossil fuels. It also provided little indication that nations were serious about scaling up efforts to cut emissions.

Supply of green energy

Part of the scope of Kenya’s agreement with Fortescue includes the supply of green electricity to the national grid. The agreement also outlines a commercial framework for implementation of the project, including government support for the critical resources, infrastructure and off-take.

Ruto said the deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was a bold statement that Kenya is on course to achieving its ambitious green growth agenda.

“We are also walking the talk by taking steps that proactively exploit the opportunity to not only provide solutions to the global climate crisis, but also leapfrog our people and economies into a green industrial age,” the president said.

The head of State said Kenya’s plan was to achieve radical socio-economic transformation by accelerating geothermal resource development, reduce the cost of renewable energy and transition to 100 per cent clean energy generation by 2030, a development that requires major equity and technological investments.

Fortescue Founder and Executive Chairman Andrew Forrest signed on behalf of his company.

“This partnership sets Kenya on a path to industrial decarbonisation and we are determined to be with the people of Kenya on that journey, every step of the way,” Forrest said.

The agreement is proof that Kenya’s leadership is providing the country with additional energy security that steps beyond the use of fossil fuels and most importantly stopping the reliance on Russian imported fertiliser.

Australia’s Chargé d’affaires to Kenya Linda Gellard said the agreement was a significant ground-breaking partnership that will provide a high-quality blueprint for others to follow.

The Investment Support and Implementation Agreement is expected to entrench FFI’s commitment to fast-track its engineering and environmental studies, as well as early procurement for the development of the industrial facilities, while for the Kenyan Government, it affirms its commitment to support the promotion, facilitation, and protection of FFI’s investment.

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