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Kenya building project pipeline

Kenya has a fast-flowing project pipeline of public-private partnership projects, advanced by the PPP Unit at the National Treasury. These include a geothermal power, student hostel accommodation, a lake port and a road annuity programme building 500 km of roads.

National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said in the 2016/17 budget speech on 8 June: “The Government has recognized the critical role that can be played by the private sector in mobilizing resources for infrastructure development and is using the PPP arrangement to accelerate infrastructure development”

He said the road Annuity Fund has raised over KSh 9.5bn ($94m) and is starting the first batch of roads (10,000 km are planned). Other work on highways includes feasibility studies for expanding Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba Highway (Mombasa-Nairobi is 485km, and it forms part of the northern corridor of the Trans-Africa Highway) and building a second Nyali Bridge in Mombasa.

Kenya’s PPP Unit has a pipeline of 69 projects as at March 2016.

Power is a top priority and big success story for Kenya as capacity has been growing fast, particularly in green and renewable energy. Top of the list in March 2016 were 980MW coal power plant in Lamu and 560MW geothermal Olkaria VI plant. More geothermal and other power stations are in the pipeline.

Students at Kenyatta University are looking forward to the new hostel accommodation with beds for 9,350 undergraduates and 650 postgraduates. Similar projects are in feasibility stages for Moi University (9,880 students), Embu University College (4,040 students) and others. 

According to a news report, China Roads and Bridges Company will build the $140m Kisumu port on Lake Victoria to increase trade with Tanzania and Uganda through a link to the new railway under construction from Mombasa. However tenders for building a new container terminal on 100 hectares at Mombasa Port have been stopped by a petition.

Kenya’s framework is the Public Private Partnership Act of 2013 and regulations in 2014, with work continuing on County PPP Regulations and other documents to decentralize some projects to 47 county governments. Also on the agenda is a revolving PPP project facilitation fund to support agencies to prepare, appraise and tender projects, provide “viability gap finance”, and meet contingent liabilities.

Other projects include waste management, bulk water supply for Nairobi, land for irrigated farming, civil servants housing, hospitals and health facilities and a special economic zone in Mombasa.

Kefa Seda, Manager of Special Projects for Kenya Highways Authority said four potential toll roads were identified: Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Nakuru highway (180 km), Nairobi Southern Bypass (29 km being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation, and eight-lane Thika super highway (50 km). The government was seeking private investors to manage the roads.

Capacity-building includes skills to ensure that PPP projects are feasible, sustainable, and meet expectations for “value for money”. Also key is to build PPP knowledge among Kenyan financial institutions, construction industry and developers so local firms and banks can compete for projects alongside including Australian, Chinese, Indian, Italian and other bidders.