KenGen planning tender for Olkaria V and I early next year
KenGen is planning to issue a tender notice for the construction of the 140 MW Olkaria V and 70 MW Olkaria I geothermal power projects in Kenya.
We have been reporting before on the increasing role of geothermal power generation in the energy mix of Kenya. Geothermal power has risen from 30 percent last year to about 39 percent this year, which makes it now the predominant source of electricity generation in Kenya.
In a statement this week, Joshua Choge, the Chairman of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) said that Kenya can now move from expensive thermal power to clean, cheap and reliable geothermal power.
“We have already seen a reduction in the cost of power by 30 per cent due to an increase in geothermal power and we project that the prices will fall further,” he said.
He spoke on the sidelines of a tour of Olkaria power plant in Naivasha for KenGen shareholders. Olkaria Geothermal Development Director for KenGen Abel Rotich said that power demand in the country is growing by between eight per cent and 10 percent annually.
He said supply currently stands at 2,150MW against a demand of 1,600MW at peak hours. “The biggest challenge we have is the high investment capital required in geothermal drilling and exploration,” he said.
KenGen managing director Albert Mugo said the power generating company will be advertising a tender for the construction of the 140 MW Olkaria V and 70 MW Olkaria I power plants early next year.
He said this was part of the government plan of achieving 5,000MW in 40 months, adding that of the 844MW KenGen was tasked to generate this year, it had already produced 380MW.