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Gulf Power: Energising Kenya

Engine Hall
Engine Hall with Substation
Inside Engine Hall A -- Aerial A

Gulf Power is a special purpose vehicle for the construction and operations of an 80 MW medium speed diesel power plant in Kenya. Gulf Power entered Kenya’s energy market with its $112 million, 80MW, Medium Speed heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) power plant which became operational in December 2014.

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This commissioning was in the wake of many challenges and opportunities: in what is quickly becoming a crowded sector, Norman Wanyiri and his team have optimized the business for consistent performance well into the future. 

Gulf Power received high profile funding to construct its plant from both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) which together contributed about $75 million.

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This is a solid indication that the plant is part of the country’s short and long term Least Cost Power Development Plan and is thus worthy of international funding on this scale. 

Wanyiri noted that financial endorsement from the IFC and OFID also brought with it the requirement to adhere to the highest global standards in management practices, as well as environmental and social initiatives which in turn ensured that the plant was built in line with global technological and engineering standards.

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The HFO power plant at Athi River near the capital Nairobi is a state of arts project and is the first of its kind, Wanyiri said: “Up until now, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Kenya have been dominated by foreign investors. Gulf Power is the first IPP to be fully owned by indigenous local Investors.”  

Aside from infrastructure challenges, it is interesting to note that the HFO plant faces competition from other players at this stage.

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For instance, Wanyiri noted that there had already been several major renewable energy commitments across the country, including the construction and commissioning of……click here to read the rest of this article on


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