By Tsim Mavisi

In a major effort to replace imported fertilizers, which are contributing to environmental pollution, the Government of Kenya and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) have signed a binding Framework Agreement that will fast-track Kenya’s development of an affordable green fertilizer supply chain and other green hydrogen-based industries and its derivatives.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) witnessed by the President of Kenya, Dr. William Ruto and Executive Chairman of FFI, Dr. Andrew Forrest. For Kenya, this will create fossil-fuel-free fertilizer, a strong local industry, skilled job creation, and lessen Kenya’s exposure to imports from foreign nations.

Under the Agreement, Kenya and FFI will work together to build a 300MW capacity generation green ammonia and green fertilizer facility by 2025. This will provide affordable green fertilizer to the domestic market and address food security, while also negating the need for importing fertilizer.

The parties intend for this to be followed by the development of two further projects that would scale up renewable electricity generation for green industries by up to 25GW, to produce up to 1.7 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year for export.

The Agreement will entrench FFI’s commitment to fast-track significant investment to develop green industrial facilities in Naivasha, Mombasa, and Lamu, creating thousands of new jobs and delivering significant manufacturing and industrial development to Kenya.

The initial green hydrogen and green ammonia facility to be located in the Naivasha vicinity of the Olkaria geothermal field will move to a pre-feasibility study, with a final investment decision from FFI expected in 2023.

President Ruto noted that this Agreement will help to support further economic and infrastructure development in Kenya creating opportunities for local industries, businesses, and communities.

“Today marks the beginning of what we all believe will be a long and fruitful partnership between Kenya and FFI,” he said. “We are committed to Kenya being a leader of renewable energy in Africa. We look forward to partnering with FFI to accelerate the global energy transition for the benefit of the continent.”

“By stepping away from fossil fuels to use green ammonia, Kenya can eliminate its reliance on imports, reduce the cost of fertilizer and increase its food and economic security,” said Dr. Forrest.

“Today’s agreement sets Kenya on a path to industrial decarbonization and we are committed to walking with Kenya on that journey every step of the way.”