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Kwale county to pursue seawater desalination project

The Kwale County Government seeks to pursue a large scale seawater desalination project to help ease water shortages in the coastal county.

Area Governor Fatuma Achani says her administration has begun talks with Barwasim Africa Consulting Ltd., ACCIONA Aqua and SWICORP representatives on a Sea Water Desalination project to be developed in Munje area of Samburu Sub County.

“The investors have already identified a suitable location for the project and we are looking forward to positive outcomes,” she said, adding that the investors have acquired 50-acre parcel of land to set up the proposed plant.

Achani says the project aims to provide a sustainable water source to the people of Kwale, who constantly face fresh water shortages.

ACCIONA Aqua is a Spanish company that will be partnering with SWICORP from the Middle East in the implementation of the project that is expected to be producing 150 million litres of water every day once completed.

The governor says seawater desalination can help mitigate the supply and demand imbalance in the coastal county, reduce the exploration of underground water and at the same time protect the water ecological environment.

The county boss said the foreign consortium will design, build and operate the proposed multibillion seawater desalination plant.

In their talks, Achani assured the investors that her administration will cooperate with them to make sure that the desalination project helps to tackle the water crisis and benefits the people.

She contends that Kwale is suffering from intensified water shortages as a result of climate change and the ongoing large-scale infrastructural development projects in the region.

Meanwhile, the governor has announced that Hydrogen De France (HDF Energy), a French independent power producer, is planning to set up a green hydrogen power plant in Samburu Sub County.

The Governor was accompanied by Acting County Secretary Sylvia Chidodo and Chief of Staff Joshua Mdoe in the high-level talks attended by Charnelle Fortuin-Ndlovu, the HDF Business and Project Developer – Southern & Eastern Africa and Florence Onditi the HDF Business Developer – East Africa.

Hydrogen is considered one of the greenest alternatives emerging as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel.

HDF Energy is an independent power producer undertaking several renewable and hydrogen power projects in countries like Namibia and French Guyana.

She said in this project, HDF Energy is planning to set up a solar power plant that will produce green hydrogen power for storage, hence increasing power stability and reliability on the national grid.

“If realized, the power plant will be producing 50 Megawatts of power during the day and 15 Megawatts of power at night boosting electricity supply,” she said.

The Governor assured HDF Energy that the county government of Kwale will support them in this project once they get approved by the ministry of energy.

“It is a good project and my administration will support it once they get requisite approvals from the ministry of energy,” she said.

Achani says Kwale has an abundance of sun in many dry parts such as Samburu and Kinango sub counties and wants to harness its vast potential for solar energy to produce green hydrogen and position the coastal county as a renewable energy hub in the coastal region.

On her part, Charnelle said HDF Energy is also eying new projects in other parts of Kenya and Africa.

By Hussein Abdullahi


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