December 19, 2014

Kenya gives go-ahead for Africa’s largest wind farm


Vestas Wind Systems has been given the green light by the Kenyan government to build Africa’s largest wind farm as part of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project. The project will see 310MW of power generated by the 365 wind turbines, each of which will generate 850kW of energy making it the largest single order for wind turbines in the Danish company’s history. The project will be built 1,200km from the city of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, and once it is completed will have the capacity to provide as much as 15pc of the country’s entire energy demands. According…

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Muguku family invests Sh3bn in Karen complex


The family of the late Nelson Muguku, the poultry farmer who made billions as a top shareholder at Equity Bank, is deepening its presence in the lucrative real estate market with the planned construction of a multi-billion-shilling complex in Nairobi’s upmarket Karen estate. Phase one of the project dubbed Karen Waterfront will cost Sh2.6 billion and people familiar with the plan said construction of the last two could raise the cost to Sh10 billion. It will sit on a 50-acre piece of land located in the Karen Triangle (the area enclosed between Karen Road, Karen Lane and Lang’ata Road), making…

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American firm to build Sh4bn KU hostel complex


An American private equity firm has won a contract to build a Sh4 billion hostel complex for Kenyatta University (KU) with a capacity to house up to 10,000 students. Africa Integras, a New York-based firm which invests in university infrastructure, has been picked as the lead investor that will, after negotiations with KU, appoint an architect, a building firm and the hostel operator. The hostel will be developed on a build-operate-transfer model where the investor is expected to build the facility and collect rent for 15 to 20 years before handing it back to the university. “Africa Integras is now…

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[VIDEO] Kisii County exports the first consignment of Avocado oil to Mexico


The first consignment of processed avocado oil, to be exported from Kisii to Mexico, has been dispatched. The consignment, weighing 30 tonnes, was processed by the Australia Old Land Trade Kenya Limited, a foreign company that started its operations two months ago. The oil will be used to make cosmetic products in Mexico. Kisii county governor, James Ongwae, disclosed that the county government would issue one million seedlings to farmers early next year to boost production. Statistics show that Nyamira and Kisii counties are trailing Murang’a in avocado production. Residents have been urged to replace their traditional oil varieties, which…

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Tenants in Kenya to pay part of rent to KRA in new taxation plan


The taxman plans to have tenants pay part of the rent directly to his accounts. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says tenants will be expected to make simultaneous bank deposits, one to the landlord and then to KRA. Landlords will be required to show compliance by producing the bank deposit slips. The proposal seeks to simplify payment of rental income tax by landlords and will also introduce a flat rate of taxation on income received from tenants. It will not take into account any costs or profitability of the buildings, but will be similar to a turnover tax on SMEs,…

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Kenyan billionaires edge foreign rivals out of big power contracts


Kenyan billionaires are increasingly winning big-ticket contracts to mine coal and develop new power sources, edging out well-established global conglomerates that have dominated the industry. The list of deep-pocketed investors with high-level political connections who have bagged lucrative energy contracts includes Centum chairman Chris Kirubi (Lamu coal plant), businessman George Kariithi (Mui Coal Fields) and Zeph Mbugua of TransCentury, which is developing a 50-megawatt wind farm in Limuru, Kiambu. The group of local oligarchs has, however, battled to squeeze out global giants such as Tata Power, Toyota Tsusho, Samsung, Aldwych International and Wärtsilä to win multi-billion-shilling tender. In most cases,…

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Kenyans drank half-a-billion worth of Scotch whisky in 2013, to go up in 2014


Kenyans guzzled nearly half a billion shillings worth of Scotch in 2013 and are expected to surpass this figure as the festive season concludes in 2014. The numbers are revealed in a report released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) that monitors the industry in Scotland, part of the UK. SWA’s 2013 statistical report released late last month shows Scotch exports to Kenya stood at £3.37 million (Sh479 million), a 62 per cent increase from £2.08 million (Sh296 million) sold in 2012. The Edinburgh-based association whose members include Diageo, East African Breweries Ltd’s (EABL) parent company, sources the data from…

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Sh7billion business park to be built in Nairobi

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A group of international investors plans to set up a Sh7 billion industrial park in Nairobi, to cash in on the growing demand for a conducive environment for local manufacturers. The facility, named Infinity Industrial Park, is expected to be complete in two years. It sits on a 200-acre plot at Utawala in the Eastlands Abacus Property Consultants, an international real estate firm with operations in East Africa, India and Dubai, and which is managing the project, said the premises would provide the necessary industrial infrastructure and services to manufacturers on lease. “We realised that industries are expanding at a…

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KFC opens Nairobi’s first drive-through food outlet


Global fast food franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has opened Kenya’s first drive-through outlet on Mombasa Road. The outlet located at a Total petrol station will see customers order, pay and pick up their food while still in their cars. The franchise is promising customers a service time of between two and five minutes from the point of making an order to the point of exit. “Kenya is catching up with the rest of the world. People have less time and they want to eat. You want something quickly and you do not want to park, especially on Mombasa Road…

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Kenya’s Naivas siblings get court orders to sell big brother’s shop


The sibling rivalry at Naivas Supermarkets has taken a new turn after the High Court allowed five children of the retail chain’s founder to auction a store belonging to their eldest brother Newton Nyoro Mukuha over a multi-million-shilling debt. High Court judge Fred Ochieng gave the green light to the younger siblings — who control Naivas — to recover Sh12.1 million from Mr Nyoro’s Greenmart Supermarket in Nairobi’s Kayole estate. The debt originated from supplies delivered to the store six years ago. Mr Nyoro’s younger brothers and sisters — Simon Gashwe, David Kimani, Peter Kago, Grace Wamboi and Linet Wairimu…

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