POWER

Kengen to add Olkaria 6 geothermal plant to grid next year

The firm has a total installed generation capacity of 1,818MW

In Summary
  • The construction started in December 2018. 
  • Miano said it will help drive down the cost of electricity in Kenya by displacing thermal energy
KenGen offices at Ol Karia.
KenGen offices at Ol Karia.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Power generator Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) is targeting to add its 83 megawatts Olkaria 1 Unit 6 geothermal plant to the national grid next year.

Speaking at the plant tour on Thursday, Kengen MD Rebecca Miano final touches are being done to the plant whose construction started in December 2018. 

''The plant is nearly complete and is expected to be added to the grid in early 2022,'' Miano said.

She said that once the plant is operational, it will help drive down the cost of electricity in Kenya by displacing thermal energy while meeting the country’s growing demand for electricity.

Miano reiterated that the plant would help support the government’s effort to achieve 100 per cent utilisation of renewable energy by the year 2030 as a way of fighting climate change.

In January this year, a team of 15 engineers and experts in heavy lifting successfully mounted a generator weighing 99 tonnes (99,000 kilograms) onto the power plant’s Steam Turbine in Olkaria, Naivasha. 

The plant is aligned to the firm's long-term strategy and the Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) focused on the sustainable supply of renewable energy in support of the Government Big Four Agenda.

Last month, the company began drilling of three geothermal wells in Djibouti that will cost Sh0.7 billion. Drilling of the first well is projected to take about two months to complete.

The Djibouti project is the third mega geothermal drilling contract that KenGen is implementing in the continent.

The electricity generator has also formed partnerships with countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda in renewable energy development.

In October 2019, the firm secured a Sh5.8 billion contract to drill 12 geothermal wells in Ethiopia.

This contract, signed between the Kenyan firm and an independent power producer, includes installing a water supply system and equipment.

The company is considered among the world’s top 10 geothermal energy producers with a geothermal installed capacity of 706 MW.

Figures indicate that KenGen supplies over 72 per cent of electricity in Kenya, with renewable sources accounting for 80 per cent of this supply.

KenGen has a total installed generation capacity of 1,818MW comprising hydro (826MW), geothermal (713MW), thermal (254MW) and wind (26MW).