A Kenyan billionaire Humphrey Kariuki won a Sh 40 Billion ($400 Million) tender to build a gas power plant following a successful bid for the natural gas development projects in the Ruvuma gas basin in Mozambique.
Mr Kariuki’s firm Great Lakes Africa Energy which is based in the UK has already entered into an agreement with the Mozambique government to build and operate the 250-megawatt gas-powered plant in northeastern Mozambique to generate electricity using natural gas for domestic use.
The Great Lakes Africa Energy (GLAE) UK-based pan-African energy solution firm develops and operates power projects in southern Africa.
At 250 MW, GLAE Mozambican gas-fired power plant will be one of the largest conventional sources of electricity in the country.
Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa is one of Kenya’s most storied, yet elusive businessmen. Over the last three decades, Ndegwa, 60, has quietly built his company, the Janus Continental Group, into one of East Africa’s largest conglomerates while staying away from the limelight.
Modest in his personal life, calm in his demeanor, but audacious in business, Ndegwa has built a business conglomerate that includes The Hub – a premier shopping mall located in the beautiful leafy suburbs of Karen in Nairobi; WOW Beverages, Africa Spirits, Kenya’s leading manufacturer of Alcoholic beverages; Dalbit Petroleum, one of the largest oil distributors in East and Southern Africa, and Great Lakes Africa Energy, a U.K-based company that is a developer and operator of power projects in Southern Africa. These businesses collectively employ more than 3,000 Kenyans and foreign nationals. Ndegwa is also the owner of the 5-star Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Green Corner Restaurant, a popular Nairobi eatery and the neighboring Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage. Since acquiring the Animal Orphanage from its American owners years ago, Ndegwa has spent a fortune providing shelter and professional care to orphaned, injured, neglected, abused or frightened wild animals, with the goal to releasing them back into the wild where they belong.
The business mogul has also been entangled in controversy in the past, most notably when he was pulled into the Charterhouse Bank controversy in January 2001 after the Central Bank of Kenya froze the account of a business he owned — Crucial Properties Limited — due to a large inward transfer of Sh2 billion.
Mr Kariuki maintained the legitimacy of the large transfer, saying it was part of a $150 million package the company had negotiated with international lenders to be invested in Kenya.
However, according to Daily Nation reports, Mr Kairuki was summoned by the Anti-Narcotics police unit to explain the source of the mysterious Sh2billion because they strongly believed it was proceeds of Drug trafficking.
Kariuki’s firm however managed to withdraw up to Sh1.6 billion from the account after the High court lifted the account freeze orders five months later.
Separately, Kairuki’s name early last year featured on the Standard Newspaper alongside other prominent Kenyans including Joho,Mwau,Sonko,Kabogo,Wamboi,Mbugua as a persons of interest in the then Ambassador’s Raneberger’s dossier at a time when the USA enhanced fight against drug trafficking in the country.