The US Proposes Sh1.4 bn Investment in Kenyan Oil Industry
The US has expressed interest in investing Sh1.4 billion ($13.7 million) into an oil pipeline that will link northern Kenya’s oil fields to Lamu.
US Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, confirmed on Tuesday his government would help secure the funds, which will substantially increase its investment in the groundbreaking LAPSSET project.
The US could edge out China
The pipeline project was initially designed to for Chinese investment, but the US has jumped in to express its willingness to source the necessary funds. The pipeline will see Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia link up with the Lamu port, which will make the region’s oil exports more accessible to the world.
If the US gets in ahead of the Chinese on this project, it will be a major blow to the Asian powerhouse, which has been the key partner in Kenyan energy investment for more than a decade. While those involved in the project insist it is too large for a single nation to dominate, the prospect of sharing Kenya as an investment ground with the US won’t go down well in China.
The US ready to invest in Kenyan energy
Mr Godec said the US is also interested in funding a wider project to expand Kenya’s capacity for electricity generation. Kenya’s energy demands are sharply on the rise and the nation has become a lucrative investment opportunity for overseas economies.
“We are committed to this plan of making energy cheaper for Kenyans through this initiative that seeks to enhance production of green energy, connect more Kenyans and also seek to support off-grid solutions in remote areas that might take long before getting connected to the national grid,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in Kenya’s Nation newspaper.
Once completed, the LAPSSET project will have established the world’s most ambitious oil pipeline system, in addition to the wider energy development involved.