October 5, 2018 / 9:22 AM / 2 months ago

Kenya on course to develop nuclear energy, official says

NAIROBI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Kenya’s ambition of having a nuclear power plant is still on course and it hopes to build its first such facility in the next 12-15 years, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Friday.

Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary for electricity, told Reuters the East African nation plans to turn to nuclear when it has fully exploited other sources of energy.

“It (nuclear plant construction) may be in the next 12 or even 15 years ... the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is still a going concern and only working to prepare for nuclear,” he said.

Hydropower accounts for 35 percent of Kenya’s electricity generation, with the rest coming from geothermal, wind and heavy oil plants, the ministry says.

Plans to develop a 1,050-megawatt coal-fired plant on the coast, using funding from China, have been delayed by court action from environmental activists.

The development of nuclear energy will come after other resources have been fully exploited in line with growing demand for energy, Njoroge said.

“That is after we have done a lot of exploitation of the geothermal, the coal that we also want to exploit, the wind, solar and all those,” he said.

“At that time the only option we will have to get clean energy will be from nuclear.” (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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