A German renewable energy firm, Sustainable Energy Management (EMC) Solutions lost the Sh40 billion (US$400 million) deal to build an electricity plant powered by Nairobi’s solid waste following an oversight on the part of the city’s county government officials.
Environment Executive, Eng Peter Kimori, has owned to their error, saying it was a mistake to engage the German firm to build the plant at the Dandora dumpsite without a feasibility study as required in law.Nairobi City Environment Executive Peter Kimori
“By the time we engaged the firm, we did not have a feasibility study which was against the Public Private Partnership (PPP) engagement,” said Kimori.
The county government is now in the process of rectifying its mistake and has hired a consultant to carry out a feasibility study on solid waste recycling at the dumpsite.
EMC had intended to build a plant with a capacity to absorb 2,000 tonnes of waste daily, which would in turn be converted into 70 megawatts of power to be supplied to the national grid.
Kimori said access roads to the dumpsite have been done and the trucks are now making three trips daily, compared to one trip they used to make in December.
About 2500 tonnes of garbage is generated in the city each day but only 1500 is collected and deposited at the Dandora site.
At the same time, the county has acquired a compactor, bulldozer and excavators to compact waste at the Dandora dumpsite to increase its capacity by five years.
“This is a short-term solution for garbage management as Nairobi county looks for an alternative waste yard,”said the county executive.
Plans to move the Dandora dumpsite to Ruai were halted after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) argued that birds attracted by the waste pose a safety risk for flights to and from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“Relocating the dumpsite to Ruai, 10 kilometres from JKIA, would breach the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) requirement that such a facility be located 13 kilometres from a runway,” a statement from KCAA said.
The county, he said, spend Sh60 million every month in paying garbage collectors.
– Reporting by Abbas Samji