NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s titanium exports decreased in the second
quarter of 2019 compared to a similar period last year due to
closure of a mine, the industry said on Thursday.
Titanium, which operates the Kwale mineral sands project, said
in a statement that ilmenite exports, which contains titanium
decreased to 99,620 tons for the second quarter compared to
107,170 tons in a similar period in 2018.
"The main focus for the quarter was the successful relocation
of mining operations to the South Dune orebody in June,
following depletion of the Central Dune.
"During this period, the mineral separation plant operated on
stockpiled heavy mineral concentrate to ensure uninterrupted
production," the firm said.
According to Base Titanium, which is a subsidiary of
Australian mining giant Bases, the Kwale mineral sands project,
contains 134 million tones of resources as at June 2018.
Between April and June, Base Titanium said, it also exported
31,889 tons of rutile which contains titanium oxide down from
25,635 tons in a similar period last year.
The mining firm, also recorded exports of 7,968 tons of
Zircon in the second quarter of 2019 compared to 9,007 tons
between April and June 2018.
The mining firm noted that an emerging ilmenite deficit in
the international market being created by strong demand and
supply restrictions has resulted in a strengthening ilmenite
price through the second quarter.
"Demand for Base Titanium’s ilmenite from existing customers
remains greater than the company’s ability to supply and there
has been a significant increase in enquiries from new customers
globally," the company said.
Kenya seeks foreign
investment to exploit oil and gas sector
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is seeking to attract foreign investors to
exploit the country’s oil and gas resources, a government
official said on Thursday.
John Mosonik, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry
of Petroleum and Mining, told a regional trade forum in Nairobi
that Kenya’s total sedimentary basins surface area is 485,000
square km with 63 gazetted exploration blocks onshore and
"Currently 27 blocks are licensed, and 36 blocks are hence
open to investors," Mosonik said during the opening ceremony of
the 8th oil and gas international trade exhibition.
The three-day event brought together Kenya’s energy industry
and foreign participants from 22 countries who are the leaders
in their respective segments.
The international trade event is a crucial platform to propel
the energy sector in Kenya to new heights and gain a strong lead
in the East African region and the African continent.
Mosonik said that oil exploration in Kenya began in 1954
before the country achieved independence, after which upstream
activities continued in varying intensities.
He observed that between 1960 and 1992, 32 wells were drilled
all none of which yielded commercially viable oil deposits.
In 2012, Tullow Oil announced the discovery of 300 million
barrels of oil in Turkana rekindling Kenya’s prospects of
becoming an oil producing nation.
According to the ministry of petroleum, so far 10 discoveries
have been made in the South Lokichar Basin in northwest Kenya
with a recoverable resource currently estimated at 560 million
barrels of oil, with the possibility that it will exceed 1.2
billion barrels of oil.
"Unrisked gas discoveries have also been reported in offshore
Lamu and in the Anza basins," Mosonik added.
Chinese firms eye Kenya
renewable energy sector amid potential for growth
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Chinese companies are keen to expand their
footprint in Kenya’s renewable energy sector whose growth has
accelerated against a backdrop of friendly policy and regulatory
environment, senior executives said on Thursday.
The executives, who spoke to Xinhua at the eighth Africa oil
and gas exhibition taking place in Nairobi, said they were keen
to venture into Kenya’s clean energy solutions market.
Joanne Tan, overseas sales director of Guolong Electric
Company Limited, said that Kenya presents new opportunities for
manufacturers of solar technologies whose uptake in rural areas
"We consider Kenya a strategic market for our solar products
as the government promotes use of clean energy in homes and
industries," said Tan, adding that her company is sourcing for a
local partner to expand presence in Kenya and neighboring
She said that Gulong Electric Company Limited, a manufacturer
of solar technologies based in Zhejiang Province, has a strong
presence in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Tan said the expo presents an opportunity for her company to
conduct extensive research on sustainability of solar solutions
market in Kenya and the region.
"A survey on the general status of the market for solar
products in this region is key to inform future investment
decisions," said Tan.
Chinese firms joined their counterparts from 30 countries to
participate in the eighth edition of Africa oil and gas
exhibition taking place in Nairobi from July 25 to 27.
Neal Wu, a regional sales executive at Chengdu Huaqi Houpu
Holding Company Limited, said his firm is keen to be a major
player in cleaner energy revolution in Kenya.
"Our goal is to understand this market and how we can provide
technologies that promote uptake of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
We are already active in Nigeria where we provide equipment for
LNG filling stations," said Wu.
He said that investing in Kenya’s market for clean energy
technologies is in line with Chinese companies’ quest to be an
integral part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Elis Chen, sales manager of Shenzhen King Sako Electronics
Company Limited, said last year’s entry into the Kenyan market
has been a success given high demand for solar technologies.
"We have distributors in Kenya who have enabled us to reach a
growing number of clients who request our integrated solar
system," said Chen.
Kenya presents a promising market for solar technologies as
households, industries and institutions like schools and
hospitals embrace clean technologies, she added.
Vincent Xiao, sales manager of Zhejiang Jiajiare New Energy
Company Limited, said that demand for solar water heaters in
Kenya has increased in line with the country’s green
"We have been doing business for more than five years in
Kenya and our solar water heating equipment has been received
well by clients.
"The product is green and affordable," said Xiao.
Kenya launches program to
help improve nut crops
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s researchers said Thursday they have launched a program
aimed at improving the growing of nut crop, processing and
Eliud Kireger, director general of Kenya Agricultural
Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said the country’s nut
industry is performing poorly because most of the nut crops that
were introduced in the country have aged, and are now producing
low quality nuts.
"We have started research on macadamia, groundnuts, coconut
and cashew nuts to improve their quality to boost trade locally
and internationally," Kireger told journalists in Nairobi.
Kireger revealed that preliminary studies shows that the
program is fast yielding good results and will avail high
yielding quality nuts.
He said that the program has resulted into high yielding
groundnuts which are preferred for roasting and another variety
that is cream in color and produces quality peanut butter.
The official said that the current poor marketing strategy
that has led to producers earning little money will come to an
end since the government plans to open up local and
"This program is intended to educate farmers to abandon
planting of poor yielding materials by adopting superior and
pest resistant varieties," he added.
He said that KALRO researchers have been instructed to
improve their interaction between them and farmers to lay ground
for the technology transfer.
The researcher said that KALRO has embarked on promoting new
seed varieties through goggle’s play store in its website where
30 online applications are placed.
"We are soon featuring additional 28 online applications
mainly on horticultural crops to help boost agriculture in the
country," he added.
Kireger said that KALRO researchers are looking for all
avenues of availing modern and current information to farmers in
rural areas beyond relying on extension services.
The official added that thousands of farmers have started
downloading the online applications that is expected to double
crop, poultry and livestock production.
He told farmers to redouble their effort since the government
is leading in finding markets for their produce.
Kireger observed that the nuts will be processed and value
added locally before being sold to the local and international
Kenya to use block chain
to boost food security
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to use block chain technology to
boost food security, a senior government official said on
Joe Mucheru, cabinet secretary in the ministry of Information
Communication and Technology (ICT), told journalists in Nairobi
that technology such as artificial intelligence can be used to
track agricultural produce from end-to-end from seeds to
"We will also be introducing a citizen service to track the
origin of food products and report unsafe food products,"
Mucheru said when he received a report from the distributed
ledgers technology and artificial intelligence taskforce.
The taskforce was created in 2018, to develop a roadmap for
emerging technologies that will define the evolving fourth
Mucheru said that the team will receive views of the public
on the use of block chain and artificial intelligence for the
next three weeks.
"Thereafter the report will presented to cabinet for approval
so that the implementation of the recommendations commences," he
Mucheru said that blockchain technologies are expected to be
disruptive and will change the way business is conducted in
"They further promise to enhance public service delivery,
while promoting efficiency in the private sector by streamlining
supply chains," he added.
Bitange Ndemo, chairperson of the taskforce, said that the
use of blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies could
be transformative across several key sectors in Kenya, including
healthcare, agriculture, education and government services.
"The improved efficiency, transparency and accountability of
blockchain can considerably benefit government services in which
several emerging markets struggle with inefficient legacy
infrastructures and an inability to provide citizens with fast,
accountable and transparent service delivery," Ndemo said.