Kengen’s Olkaria V power plant construction set to begin in June

Georthermal energy
A geothermal plant at Olkaria, Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
After a delay of more than a year, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is finally set to begin work on a new power plant in Naivasha, pushing forward Kenya’s bid to raise its renewable energy output.

According to Energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge, plans have been finalised and the project will get underway in June with the facility expected to be operational by 2019.

“The project is now fully funded. We have funds from various sources but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is the main funding agency,” Mr Njoroge told reporters in Nairobi.

The 158 megawatt (MW) plant, to be known as Olkaria V, has been delayed by the lengthy process of enlisting a contractor and obtaining financing for the Sh55 billion project.

The Olkaria V plant will boost current power facilities in the Olkaria geothermal fields with the aim of easing the hard-pressed power supplies in the country.

The project is being carried out with an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan arrangement, extended to KenGen by Jica.

Recently a consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation & Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and H Young & Co. was awarded a full turnkey contract by KenGen for the construction of the 158 MW (2x 79 MW) Olkaria V geothermal power project.

MHPS will be tasked with the design of the geothermal facility, as well as the delivery of generators, condensers, steam turbines and other key auxiliaries. The firm will also dispatch technical consultants to assist H Young & Co. with proficiency in installation and commissioning.