Showing posts from November, 2012

Nairobi elevated Road: an eyesore - architect

The Nairobi elevated road:facing intense criticism  A MONTH BACK, we ran an article questioning the viability of the elevated road over Nairobi's uhuru Highway.  We have come across an article providing compelling aesthestic reasons for discarding the project. The article proposes that the funds be used to expand the Southern by-pass to 8 lanes. The article initially written as a letter to the PS ministry of Roads and public works, first appeared on a blog on urban planning in Nairobi from where we lifted it. I would like to state my strong disapproval of the planned elevated highway over Uhuru Highway. On the face of it, the elevated highway might look like a very good thing to build. Unfortunately the environmental and social impact assessment study carried out for NUTRIP did not include in the team or consult, architects and town planners. If the study team had included them, they would have told t

Tanzania to exploit geothermal power capacity

TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA'S second largest economy,  has turne d to geothermal power to meet the increasing demand for power in the country.  Power shortages are  a mill on the country economic progress. The country will drill its first geothermal power wells in Mbeya next year. Ol Karia wells: Africa's leading geothermal wells The country has the potential to generate some 650 MW of geothermal power.  However, it will start with 200 MW implemented in two phases. The first phase will produce 100 MW or 12.5 per cent of the country’s power output by 2016. The second phase, which starts in 2015, will load another 100 MW to the national grid by 2018. It costs an estimated US$2 00 million to develop a 100 MW geothermal plant at current prices. Therefore to develop the first 200 MW will cost an estimated US$400 million. This means that for Tanzania to develop its full potential it will require more than US$1.2 billion. Already she has applied for a total of US$50 mill

East Africa bracing for M&As in oil sector

An oil pipeline: Critical infrastructure in oil marketing T HE FLURRY OF discoveries of hydrocarbons in the eastern Africa coast has changed the game for explorers. It is no longer a juniors market. The countries are no longer pleading with explorers to explore for hydrocarbons in the territory. The existence of viable quantities is a confirmed fact and therefore the rules of engagement are changing.                                                                      The discoveries have spawned demand for infrastructure that does not exist in the region. Yet the infrastructure is a necessary component in oil marketing.  We are talking about export terminals, pipelines, marine terminals and offshore mooring facilities. Such investments require deep pockets, a preserve of the seniors in the sector. In Mozambique, LNG refining and transport infrastructure will require around $20 billion in investment. In Madagascar, reports, the same infrastructure requires US$1

Watch out for lavish development projects

Railway Lines substitutes roads transport CHINA IS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED as a leading development partner for Africa. This development has jolted development partners in the West who are adopting China’s no frills business model, so popular with Africa.  This competition is opening up the purse strings as never before. Development aid is flowing to Africa in fast and furious manner.  This is a good thing. It is also risky and dangerous.    The danger is; as China takes the front seat in development of Africa, others, especially the West,”will want to catch up.” Herein lies the danger: in a bid to catch some financiers may drop their guard, funding any project that comes their way.  It also some professional excited about availability of funds, could easily come up with grandiose projects. That Africa needs huge investment in solid infrastructure is not in doubt. The continent needs roads, railway lines, sea ports to open up itself for trade and development. In fact, the

Mombasa's Expansion to Mega Port begins in December

The container terminal at the Mombasa Port  THE EXPANSION of the Mombasa port into a mega port will begin in December 2012, we have reliably learnt. The expansion brings to a close the Port’s US$ 320 million development project that began last year.   The project is funded by the Kenya government jointly with the Japanese International Co-operation Agency,JICA.  The first phase of the development project included the dredging of the port to a depth of 15 Metres. It also widened the Likoni Channel from 250 Meters to more than 300 meters, while the turning basin was widened to 600 meters.  This phase cost US$62 million and was completed in 18 months. Its completion enabled the Port to receive the largest sea freighters in the market. The second phase which involves construction of three berths with a straight-line quay of 900 meters, reclamation of 100 hectares of land, second container terminal with a capacity of one million TEUs, reclamation of 100 acres of land, const