Hewatele has received Ksh. 2.5 billion (USD 20 million) in funding to build a medicinal oxygen manufacturing facility at Tatu City. Hewatele is a medical oxygen producer in Kenya.

Hewatele secured the funding from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Finnfund, Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), UBS Optimus Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada.

Hewatele will use the debt and equity funds raised to finance the building of a Cryogenic Medical Liquid Oxygen Air Separation Unit plant at Tatu Industrial Park. It is set to commence operations in late Q1 2025 and it will be the first modern liquid oxygen manufacturing plant located in East Africa in the last 60 years. It will help fill the demand for medical-grade liquid oxygen in healthcare facilities across Kenya, Uganda and Northern Tanzania.

“Hewatele’s investment, backed by the world’s preeminent development finance institutions and foundations, represents a transformation of healthcare in Kenya and across East Africa,” said David Karimi, Deputy Country Head, Kenya, at Rendeavour, the owner and developer of Tatu City.

Dr Bernard Olayo, Founder of Hewatele, said: “This medical oxygen plant represents a significant leap in ensuring sustainable and affordable access to medicinal oxygen. The increased production capacity here at Tatu City will improve oxygen affordability, particularly for maternal and child healthcare, and enhance primary healthcare support.”

According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, demand for medical oxygen has increased significantly since the COVID pandemic, from 410 tons per month to 880 tons per month. Hewatele’s facility will boost production of medical oxygen by least 20 tons per day.

“The rise of the COVID pandemic made everyone around the world aware of the importance of oxygen supply,” said Johanna Raehalme, Finnfund’s Head of Origination in Africa. “We are happy to add yet another important investment in our healthcare portfolio and see that the increased awareness of oxygen will ensure market demand for Hewatele going forward.”

“With our first base in Western Kenya, our expansion to Tatu City will create 50 new direct full-time jobs and over 100 indirect jobs, stimulating the local economy. We are honoured to be part of the healthcare ecosystem in Kiambu County,” added Dr Zulfiqar Wali, CEO of Hewatele.

More than 75 local, regional and global businesses are operational or under development in Tatu City. They include CCI Global, Heineken, Dormans, Copia, Cooper K-Brands, Grit Real Estate Income Group, Twiga Foods, Freight Forwarders Solutions, ADvTECH, Friendship Group and Davis & Shirtliff. More than 3,000 homes and apartments are occupied or under construction, and 4,500 students study at Tatu City’s schools.