Ormat signs 25-year deal for Menengai geothermal plant

Georthermal energy
A geothermal plant at Olkaria, Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
Ormat Technologies Inc., a US developer of geothermal energy, has inked a 25-year deal to supply Kenya Power with electricity from the proposed 35-megawatt Menengai geothermal project in Nakuru.

Ormat’s majority-owned Kenya unit has also signed a project implementation and steam supply agreement (PISSA) with Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which is wholly owned by the Government of Kenya, for the geothermal project.

Under the PISSA agreement, Ormat’s subsidiary will finance, design, construct, install, operate and maintain the Menengai steam plant on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis for 25 years.

The project, which is scheduled to start once financing is completed, is expected to benefit from the Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) arrangement to be provided by the African Development Bank.

Ormat owns 51 percent of the project. Mombasa-based construction firm and Symbion Power LLC, a US energy developer, each own 24.5 per cent.

The Menengai plant will be Ormat’s fifth geothermal project in Kenya. Upon its completion, Ormat will be supplying 145 MW of electricity to the national grid.

The project is part of US President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative aimed at stimulating economic growth in the sub-Saharan Africa.