Companies that will operate at the Special Economic Zone in Naivasha will pay up to a third of what other power consumers pay for electricity.
The industries that will operate at the SEZ will pay Sh5 per unit of power they consume. This is cheaper than the Sh 15 per unit that small and medium consumers pay. Even large commercial and industrial consumers are currently charged Sh10.10 per unit.
This basic cost of power is however subject to other costs including government levies and taxes that push up the cost of power.
At Sh5, the cost will be lower than the Sh9 per unit that the government has in the past promised, to make the country a competitive manufacturing destination.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority yesterday published the new tariff for the Olkaria-Kedong SEZ, which is being put up in close proximity to the Suswa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) terminus.
“Notice is given pursuant to… the Energy Act 2019, that EPRA has approved the applicable tariff of Sh5 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the Olkaria-Kedong SEZ in Naivasha,” said the energy industry regulator in a gazette notice yesterday.
The SEZ is located close to the geothermal power fields and electricity transmission over short distances has played part in giving investors a cheap tariff.
The move is in a bid to attract investors, particularly manufacturers in the country as the government eyes to increase its contribution to the economy to 15 per cent by 2022 from the current eight per cent.
Endowed with geothermal
In a response to queries as what informed developing a new tariff for the SEZ, EPRA Director General Pavel Oimeke said it was “in a bid to promote the Big Four agenda as well as Naivasha, especially Olkaria region, is endowed with geothermal resources. Additionally, the government of Kenya has developed the geothermal fields”.
The government recently said it has found an anchor investor. The Industrialisation ministry in December said that Danish brewer of Turbog and Carlsberg beers plans to invest $45 million (Sh4.5 billion) in a factory in the SEZ.
The firm will produce Tuborg, Carlsberg, Holsten and Kronenbourg beers, as well as Somersby Cider at the factory.
EPRA has also developed an additional tariff for commercial and industrial consumers connecting at 220 kilovolts (KV), who are essentially large manufacturers.
The consumers, who will be categorised as CI6 (commercial and industrial – category 6), will pay Sh7.99 per unit of power they consume while this will go down to Sh3.995 per unit during off peak hours. This is in comparison to CI5, who are currently the largest power consumers connected at 132KV, who pay Sh10.10 and Sh5.5 in the off peak periods.
The charges per unit for commercial and industrial tend to go lower depending on the size of the consumer with CI5 paying the least, but also account for the largest share of revenues to Kenya Power owing to the high consumption of electricity despite being few in terms of numbers.
Street Lighting category – costs mostly borne by counties – however pays a lower charge of Sh7.5 per unit but on account of being highly discounted.
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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.