Investors flock to Naivasha Special Export Economic Zone on low power tariff

High Voltage Lines

Workers connect high-voltage power lines. Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira assured investors that the special economic zone will be adequately supplied with stable, reliable, cheap and green energy to power the commercial industries and other clients setting up in the SEEZ.

Photo credit: File

The government's offer of lower electricity tariffs has attracted more than 16 investors to the Naivasha Special Export Economic Zone (SEEZ), while the review of land allocation to investors in Mombasa EEZ continues.

As President William Ruto is expected to commission the power substation in Naivasha SEEZ on Friday, a report by the Investment Promotion Authority shows that 16 companies have been allocated land in Naivasha with six top investors committing about $131 million (Sh20.67 billion) to invest in the area.

Five companies have already moved into the area to set up their industries, with a Sh5 kilowatt offer to attract more investors.

In March last year, the government moved to start construction of the two largest SEEZs, Mombasa and Naivasha, after inviting private companies interested in investing to apply for partnership.

Those interested in investing in the two SEEZs had two months to apply for consideration of land allocation for construction as the government aims to open the two critical facilities.

The government intends to allocate about 3,000 acres in Dongo Kundu and 1,000 acres in Naivasha where local and international investors can acquire long-term leases.

Sh5 per kilowatts

Abubakar Hassan, the Principal Secretary for Investment Promotion, said investors are flocking to Naivasha because electricity is cheaper there and it will also be easier for investors to transport their products to other eastern Africa countries.

"Electricity is very cheap in Naivasha. It's at Sh5 per kilowatts and electricity is a key factor that investors consider. Here they will also enjoy the lower tariffs that will assist them in the cost of production. Another thing is that the area is central so it will be easier for them to transport the products to eastern Africa countries," PS Abubakar said.

He said five companies are ready to set up their industries as more enquiries are being received following intensive marketing by the department.

Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira assured investors that the special economic zone will be adequately supplied with stable, reliable, cheap and green energy to power the commercial industries and other clients setting up in the SEEZ.

“President Ruto launched a power sub-station in the area for the incoming investors and it is ready to serve dozens of investors," said Wachira.

Some of the companies that have been allocated land in Naivasha include Jumbo AAA SEZ Ltd, which has been allocated 10 acres and is licensed to trade in motor vehicle parts and equipment. It is expected to invest about Sh226 million; and Ceylon Energy SEZ, an integrated factory for the manufacture of low to high voltage overhead line fittings and transmission lines, which has secured 5 acres at a cost of Sh1.06 billion.

According to the Department of Investment Promotion, Horizon SEZ Ltd, a manufacturer of glass bottles and glass products, has been allocated 10 acres and is expected to invest 12.7 billion in the project, while Motors SEZ Limited, which is involved in the assembly of electric vehicles (EVs), has been allocated 2 acres with an investment of 1.59 billion.

Other companies lined up to invest in Naivasha include: Africa Global Logistics SEZ Limited, which deals with warehousing and inventory management and has been allocated 15 acres, while Accurate Steel SEZ Limited will invest Sh1.9 billion in its steel manufacturing company.

Special Economic Zone CEO Ken Chelule said Kenya is open for business and there is huge business potential for investors through the 4 SEEZs as the procedural requirements to be an investor in Kenya have been eased.

"For an investor to come and invest in Kenya, the government will check how many jobs it will create for the people, how much the government will earn in terms of taxes among others things," said Mchelule.

But the government's priority is that Kenyans benefit from the investment.