Electricity producer KenGen expects
to cut the cost of drilling for geothermal
steam by 41.67 per cent after acquiring
three more rigs, raising hopes
of a drop in power bills in coming
The new equipment, geothermal
resources development manager
Peketsa Mangi said, will save the Nairobi
Securities Exchange-listed firm
millions of shillings it has been spending
to hire rigs.
He said the cost of drilling wells is
likely to fall to $3.5 million (Sh358.05
million) from $6 million (Sh613.80
“This is a drop of around 40 per cent
in terms of cost, and this is a boost in
accessing more geothermal power
which is more reliable and affordable
compared to hydro or thermal,” Mangi
He said the high amount is to
blame for the slow pace of developing
geothermal power resources, with
the country’s potential estimated at
“We currently have 287 geothermal
wells in Olkaria, and with the acquisition
of the rigs we expect we will be
doing at least five wells every year,”
Mangi said in Naivasha.
Two of the rigs have the capacity to
drill wells that are between five and
seven kilometres deep.
“The two rigs will drill vertically
while the third rig can drill 2.5km. We
expect to increase the number of wells
and geothermal generated through
them,” he said.
On geothermal exploration, Mangi
noted that works on the 140MW Olkaria
V power plant will kick off early
“The project, which is funded by
JICA, will not interfere with the nearby
communities. It’s part of the government
plans to increase the amount of
power generated from geothermal,” he said.
The manager said plans are underway
to feed the national grid 292MW
between 2018 and 2019, with projections
of 2,500MW by 2025.
“Currently geothermal is contributing
1,632MW to the national grid and
this is set to increase in the coming
years due to the commitment by the
government and development partners,”
The geothermal manager noted that
geothermal contributes 51 per cent of
power used in the country.