By M&M Reporter
East Africa’s leading energy producer, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) PLC is currently setting up an Energy Research and Development Laboratory in Tana to test new ideas in a cost-effective manner.
This revelation was made today during the company’s Global Innovation Seminar held at the Kenya School of Government (KSG). The three-day Innovation seminar which kicked off today ends on Friday.
Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter who was the chief guest at the event said KenGen had done a commendable job through the seminars which started in 2012. He noted the Innovative Geothermal Well Head Technology piloted in KenGen and internationalization of KenGen’s capability through outsourcing of geothermal drilling services in Ethiopia and Djibouti. He challenged KenGen to develop grid and off-grid solutions and particularly focus on local biogas solutions for the market.
In her address, KenGen Managing Director Rebecca Miano said the company was aware of the dynamic operating environment which required the institution to make informed business decisions.
“We are not blind to the challenges that await us. We are fully aware of this and are constantly reading the operating environment so as to make informed business decisions. To this end, we are currently setting up an Energy Research and Development Laboratory in Tana to provide a platform where new ideas are tested quickly and in a cost-effective way,” she said.
At the same time the Energy CS who took time earlier to go interact with a number of international exhibitors present, reiterated in importance of the industrial park as one way of growing demand which is projected to reach 7,200MW by 2030, adding that the government was on track to achieve universal access by 2022.
He promised Government’s continued support to the organization to enable it actualise these ideas.
Speaking at the seminar, Miano said the company had registered KenGen Energy Services Ltd, a subsidiary firm dedicated to commercialising non-generation revenue streams, adding that the commercial opportunities from innovation across the business were currently maturing.
In Olkaria, she said KenGen anticipated to make revenue from various projects including geothermal Spa and setting up manufacturing facilities. Other viable projects include selling drinking water following commissioning of Gitaru Water Plant, Transformer manufacturing and Solar cell manufacture, Battery and Gas Turbine Grid Stabilisation in western region and Solar Grid Tie and Fire Supression projects in Kipevu.
“Main streaming innovation into the very fabric of our business is key to our success. We have gone beyond sporadic light bulb solutions to systematically integrating innovation in our conversations and action, Miano said.
On his part, KenGen Board Chairman, Joshua Choge said KenGen’s institutionalised innovation culture had propelled the company towards achieving competitive sustainability for the firm.
“This culture has actually ushered us into high levels of success. So far, the company has received 251 innovation proposals, with 143 of them being approved. Out of these, 34 innovations have been implemented. We have also made considerable steps towards securing these innovations. So far the company has registered 12 Trademarks, 10 Copyrights and made 34 Patent Applications,” he stated.
He said KenGen plans to extend an invitation to members of the public to share innovation ideas with the company.
“In order to fully explore and benefit from new innovative ideas, we have opened doors to members of the public to share their ideas with us. Already, we have in place a digital open innovation platform known as ‘Beyond’. Through this platform, we will be able to go beyond our internal resources to tap into value creation ideas,” he added.