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Foundations being laid for planned Olkaria I Unit 6 geothermal plant in Kenya

Work on foundation for Olkaria I Unit 6 project, Kenya (source: Franki Africa)
Alexander Richter 12 Dec 2019

Construction company Franki Africa shares details on constructing the foundations for the Olkaria I Unit 6 of KenGen, a further expansion at Olkaria, Kenya.

In an article on its website, Franki Africa (a Keller company) reports on its involvement in constructing the foundations for a further expansion at Olkaria, the largest geothermal power plant complex of its kind in Africa.

Franki were recently appointed to design, install and test the pile foundations for Unit 6, the latest addition to the ongoing expansion to the Olkaria I geothermal power station.

Olkaria I, is one in a series of six sister power stations in the area. Olkaria I, II, III and IV are currently producing power, while Olkaria V is still under construction, with construction of Olkaria VI having been planned for 2021.

This latest expansion project (Unit 6) broke ground in December 2018, and piling commenced in May 2019. Unit 6 will add another 83.3 MW to the output capacity of Olkaria I, bringing the total output capacity of Olkaria I up to 274 MW.

A comprehensive geotechnical investigation was done on the site, and the results of this investigation formed an integral part of the foundation design. The Franki team was commissioned to provide a “design and construct” solution for the foundations. The in-house design team was able to use this valuable information to provide optimal foundation solutions to meet the stringent settlement criteria set down for the various structures.

The design included foundations for the turbine building, cooling tower, hot well, and scrubber areas.  Initially a combination of two soil improvement techniques, (dynamic compaction and rigid inclusions) and a piled foundation were considered. After careful analysis and taking differential settlement into account, the team finally concluded piled foundations for all the structures would be the most suitable. The ground conditions were conducive to the CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) piling method.

In its article, the company provides further details about its work particularly its piling work. See link below.

The plant is planned to be operational in 2021.

Source: Franki