24.6 C
May 25, 2020
Nawaz Khan Memoirs

The Cummins Kenya ambitious Marigat-Electricity Project on the Mathenge Plant, and why it failed miserably.

The objective of this post is quite simple:

How to destroy a $50Mn project using one Slay-Prince and Two Scared Vegey-tarians – a posh, sophisticated version of vegetarian.

An example of how USAID/DFID have no idea of what they are doing… I dunno if it was them, but this is typical of a USAID/DFID project… “Upside down thinking and no idea where they are”

I’ll tell you about the Cummings project in MARIGAT – the Prosopis Juliflora (Mathenge) Project – and why I predicted it would fail. I was right.


Many moons ago – I was the GM for Cummins Dealers – Werrot & Co, Bawa House, Lusaka Rd – so I know a few things about Power Generation… because I was taught by a Genius… Mr Gian Singh Badhan… I am bloody clever… and have won arguments against fearsome USAID power consultants in Juba… yet I rank a miserable 10% against Mr Gian Singh…

And so – 2016 to 2017 – I get called by a consultant: “Cummins are doing a 12MW project in Marigat blah blah…. Wanna go and have a look?” OK.

Their concept is simple. The steps:

  1. Harvest and dry the abundant, thorny Mathenge shrub.
  2. Shred into chips.
  3. Turn the chips into combustible gas using high temperatures in a kiln (By product – pure ash only)
  4. Pipe the gas to Generators – to generate electricity.

I know Marigat area – hostile. The only thing is mambas, scorpions and naked men with AK47’s. Yes – naked women too… well topless to be precise… and they have “AK47 Bullet Nipples” when young… Ah… happy memories

I asked a few people: Has Marigat changed much?

Answer: No – cattle rustling still ongoing.

I was taken to a leafy, very pleasant suburban office in Lavington, where their HQ was…

(Warning sign No1 – a Nairobbery Head Office for a remote project)

I met the Directors – a local Kenyan from Central, driving a BMW 5-Series with low-profile tires as the office car, and a fat Indian from Mumbai, and HIS SON – whom he had employed.

(Warning sign No2 – Slay-prince with low profile alloys on a town car, and scared Indian from India who has employed his illiterate son).

The Consultant who took me was “Mzee wa Kazi” – and used to sorting out issues in the bush… as the point man…

So I am looking at the “Management” – a slay prince and two scared vegetarian Indians…

I asked them a question: What is the by-product when you gasify Prosopis in your ovens/kilns?

Low-profile Alloys Man says: 10% Charcoal. (The Indians do not contradict him).

Me – thinking inwardly – If 10%, means process is incomplete, inefficient – should be 25% charcoal, or Zero% charcoal… NOT in-between……

(Warning sign No3 – Management giving incorrect answers, means they are Uni-Graduates, and have never done a day’s practical field work in their lives).

Probably got a 1st Class Honors in Theoretic-Electric Engineerinology… can he jerry rig a wire broom to clean the chimney-flue from the resinous gases that probably cake the sides?

Ati Jerry-Niini? Me-Abobo Graduate in Engineerinology from Punjab University, Ludhiana Campus – Jerry Rig? Nefaaaa!!!

I kept quiet and asked no more questions.

On the way back – the consultant asks me: What do you think?

Me: I think this project will fail.

Consultant – launches into an agitated tirade: Do you know how big Cummins is? Do you know how many GW they generate? You know NOTHING.

Also Read: http://kuchorea.com/meet-one-of-the-worlds-cruelest-men-but-looks-like-your-cuddly-grandpa-looks-can-be-deceiving/

The rest of the journey passed in silence.

I, Nawaz Khan, had dared suggest a Cummins – CUMMINS No LESS – power project would fail.

So anyways… here we are. Its 2020.

Mr Shah of Grant Thornton Muthithi Rd has the project in his hands – it is in receivership – for sale – I think a 10% offer will seal the deal – 3% if you want to be arrogant.

If anyone wants an intro to Mr Shah, well, call me.

Question: How much of the 12Mw/hr have they generated and sold to the Grid?

Answer: 0.00Kw/hr.

Note for special illiterates like Duncan-Bush-Njuguna: 12MW = 12,000Units per hour for sale…

Total Ka-Elecricitiricity (I forgot how to spell the word Tricity) Sales to Date? 0.00/-.

Can it be fixed?

Yes, using Bush-Monkeys like Nawaz Khan and Duncan… who drive 1989 GX – manual windows, NO AC…

Can it be replicated and scaled?

Yes – Garissa is drowning in a sea of green because Somalis cannot chew these leaves.

You know who knows MORE than anyone else about Mathenge?

Texas Ag – Donnie – what you Amreekis call “Mesquite”

Side Note: Do you know what this USAID/DFID project DID produce in abundance?

Lots of Data. No Electricity, but I saw FOLDERS and BINDERS FULL of Data……

cc: Chatham House https://www.chathamhouse.org/research/regions/africa/east-africa

Also Read: http://kuchorea.com/passion-of-the-plague-corona-the-great-colonizer/

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