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GDC reports current steam output of 130 MW at Menengai

Discharging Well, Menengai Geothermal Field, Kenya (source: flickr/ GRC, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 25 Feb 2015

GDC's Managing director, Silas Simiyu reinforced one again that a decrease of electricity tariffs should start as soon as the plants go online on December this year.

Local African news state that the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has announced that the Menengai geothermal project could generate 130MW of power.

Managing director, Silas Simiyu said once the plant begins feeding back into the national grid (December 2015), GDC’s Managing director, Silas Simiyu reinforced one again that a decrease of electricity tariffs should start as soon as the plants go online on December this year.should start to decrease, the Star reported.

“As of January this year, GDC has drilled 25 wells with steam worth 130MW. Three independent power producers are now moving to the project to build the power plants and we hope that by end of the year, Menengai will be streaming electricity to the grid,” Simiyu said.

“That is how electricity from geothermal will in turn help to lower the cost of [electricity tariffs]. Ultimately, we know that once the geothermal power from the different fields come on line, our bills will be reduced by more than 30%”, he continued.

According to Simiyu, Kenya could save an estimate Sh13 billion ($142 million) per year which would have been used towards thermal power to ensure the energy demand was met.

In addition to reducing electricity tariffs, exploiting geothermal reserves could attract foreign investors as input costs would be lower. This would benefit the consumer as the cost of goods would decrease.

“Investors will greatly save on energy and commodity prices will drop and thereby spur consumption. Besides, the world over, affordable and reliable power attracts manufacturing, which creates employment”, Simiyu said.

The German government has granted a Sh9.6 billion ($109 million) loan to drill 20 wells in the Bogoria-Silali basin. The estimated geothermal reserves are said to be enough to generate 200MW by the end of 2016.

Source: ESI Africa