AFRICANGLOBE – The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has welcomed the government’s plans to explore nuclear energy as an alternative source of power in Kenya.
KAM Chief Executive Officer Betty Maina said the use of nuclear technology for electricity generation will greatly boost the country’s manufacturing sector, create jobs, attract more industrial investors and grow the economy.
Speaking during a familiarisation visit to the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, Maina emphasised that for Kenya to attain the flagship projects and goals of Vision 2030, additional sources of energy were necessary.
“We have geothermal, hydro and the like. The inclusion of nuclear energy is welcome since we need almost 19,000 MW to achieve Vision 2030,” Maina expressed.
The KAM Chief Executive says naturally there could be anxieties around nuclear energy which can however be addressed by adequate public education and sensitisation on the subject.
Maina added that: “Ultimately, the key issue is to ensure safety aspects are adequately addressed. But all said and done, we need to embrace this technology. Nuclear energy evokes many thoughts.”
Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB), Executive Chairman Ochillo Ayacko said that the organisation was currently engaged in capacity building necessary for the success of the nuclear electricity programme.
“We are building a core of highly skilled individuals. Current training programmes are in Kenya and Korea though we plan to extend this to Slovakia soon,” he said.
Ayacko says that KNEB is also preparing the framework for the necessary laws to govern nuclear electricity generation in Kenya. That framework will include the setting up of a regulatory body to oversee all aspects in the lead up to the commissioning of Kenya’s first 1000 MW nuclear power plant in 2022.
“A legal framework for nuclear energy involves public participation. We will undertake extensive public outreach to ensure Kenyans are aware of the benefits of nuclear energy and why the country needs it,” he said.
The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board also presented a cheque of Sh750,000 to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers as its sponsorship in the Gold category for the Energy Management Awards whose gala night will be held on May 31.
“We are delighted to support the Energy Management Awards. Energy efficiency is key to sustainable use of resources, reduced costs and higher productivity,” Ayacko said.
The Energy Management Awards have been running since 2004. Under the ambit of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, they reward companies for efficiency, conservation and innovation.
“KAM is excited that utilities in the energy sector have supported these awards. We thank the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board for their generous sponsorship,” Maina said.
By: Joseph Muraya