The US Commercial Service has helped a Kenyan importer obtain the letter of credit (L/C) it needed to import equipment required to develop its geothermal energy resources.

Thermochem of the US had been experiencing difficulties obtaining the L/C from Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).

Costly delay

According to Thermochem's president, Paul von Hirtz, his company had already spent "a lot of money" on the US$360,000 contract when the L/C difficulties became apparent.

The US company had agreed to ship equipment that measures the capacity of geothermal wells to generate electricity.

But despite being 70 per cent owned by the Kenyan government, the intended buyer did not provide an L/C and the US company says KenGen staff stopped responding to requests about the delay.

L/C solution

Thermochem contacted officials at the US Commercial Service, a trade promotion arm of the commerce department.

Those officials worked with counterparts at the US Embassy in Nairobi to contact the company in Kenya and to help procure the L/C so that the equipment could be shipped.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.