Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen)
has started constructing a Sh60 million factory for manufacturing detergents, expanding its revenue streams beyond power production.
The firm says the installation of the key components at the factory, based at its Olkaria Geothermal complex in Naivasha, will be completed next year.
Kenya Bureau of Standards has given it approvals for the manufacture of liquid hand washing detergent, liquid bleach, hair shampoo, carpet shampoo, car shampoo, liquid disinfectant and fabric softeners.
The factory will boost revenue for KenGen and take the competition to the doorsteps of firms such as Unilever and Flame Tree Group
that manufacture most of these items. KenGen geothermal development director Abel Rotich said the new factory is part of the firm’s ‘Good-2-Great Strategy’ that has opened a window for receiving, testing and launching innovations.
“The intended completion and takeover date are is expected to be somewhere in the first quarter of 2021,” he added.
The manufacture of the detergent is one of the ideas, which emerged from the company’s annual Global Innovation Seminar that has been running over the past eight years.
Other projects in the pipeline include commercial treatment and bottling of drinking water following the commissioning of Gitaru Water Drinking Plant and the KenGen Calibration Centre.
The firm is currently drilling two multi-billion geothermal wells in Ethiopia, which is deepening its green energy.
Other countries in talks with KenGen include Rwanda and Djibouti.
The company has also in recent past indicated that it is eyeing direct sale of electricity to high-volume consumers such as factories once the new Energy Act, which gives it this window, is effected.
KenGen’s full-year to June 2019 net profit dropped marginally from Sh7.891 billion to Sh7.884 billion on higher operating costs. However, half-year net profit to December 2019 surged 98 percent to Sh8.17 billion boosted by tax savings and drilling works in Ethiopia.