Kenya’s largest power producer Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), plans to commission unit 6 of its Olkaria I geothermal power plant before the end of 2021.
Olkaria Geothermal Project is situated within Hell’s Gate National Park 120KM from Nairobi and neighbours horticultural farms that produce some of the inest flowers in the world. The project is also adjacent to Lake Naivasha, which is a fresh water lake in the Kenya ift and a Ramsar site.
The steam plant is being built by Japanese companies Marubeni Corporation and Fuji Electric. The contractor of the geothermal power plant had pledged to deliver the entire facility by 2021a s reported by Afrik 21 in 2018.
According to Rebecca Miano, KenGen’s Chief Executive Officer, who recently spoke at an online conference, the new steam turbine will be operational by the end of 2021.
This is good news for KenGen as it continues to expand its portfolio of geothermal power plants in the Rift Valley of western Kenya.
Marubeni Corporation subsequently awarded the construction of the new Olkaria I unit to its compatriot Fuji Electric. The geothermal power plant expansion project is financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“KenGen is the largest producer of geothermal energy on the African continent, with a current installed capacity of 706 MWe”
Located in Nakuru County, at the eastern end of the Rift Valley, the Olkaria I geothermal power plant has five units with a capacity of 185 MWe.
With the ongoing rehabilitation of turbines 1, 2 and 3, the plant will have a capacity of 190.7 MWe. The sixth unit of Olkaria I will add 83 MWe, bringing the capacity of the plant to 273.7 MWe.
The new facilities will increase KenGen’s geothermal power generation capacity. The company is the largest producer of geothermal energy on the African continent, with a current installed capacity of 706 MWe. The company, which employs more than 2,500 people, exports its know-how to other countries with geothermal potential in East Africa.
In Ethiopia, for example, KenGen is drilling for the Tulu Moye geothermal project and also won another international contract to drill three geothermal wells in Djibouti and signed the US$6.48 million contract with Office Djiboutien De Development De lenergie Geothermique
This internationalization could be extended to Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. Those countries are already beginning to explore future geothermal drilling fields.