News

Kenyan tycoon fully takes over company developing one of three Menengai geothermal plants

Geothermal well at Menengai, Kenya (source: flickr/ ScientificDrilling)
Alexander Richter 6 Dec 2017

Kenyan business tycoon Narendra Raval takes over full control over private geothermal developer Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power developing one of three private geothermal plants in Menengai in Kenya buying out a minority shareholder.

Reported from Kenya, steel and cement tycoon Narendra Raval has bought Baringo Senator Gideon Moi’s stake in Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power, one of three firms that Kenya state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC) awarded exclusive rights to set up a steam plant under a build-own-operate model.

The billionaire’s Devki Group now fully owns Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power that will build one of the three 35 MW geothermal plants in Menengai, Nakuru County, Kenya. Mr. Moi previously owned a stake in the venture through his firm Sosian Energy Ltd.

 

Narendra Raval is a well-known business figure in Kenya with interests in steel making, cement manufacturing, roofing materials and aviation.

The businessman said the investment in geothermal power plant will top $82 million (Sh8.2 billion) and groundbreaking is slated for mid-March. Construction of the plant is expected to take about 18 months.

“Industries want cheaper power like geothermal,” Mr Raval said adding that “the returns are good.”

Change in ownership structure of a bidding consortium already awarded a construction licence would have required regulatory approval, but GDC managing director Johnson 0le Nchoe confirmed that Devki was part of the Sosian Energy consortium at the tendering stage.

“We don’t come in on internal matters. They only need to meet conditions of the project implementation and steam supply agreement,” said Mr Nchoe.

Energy secretary Charles Keter confirmed Devki Group as the investor now fully in charge of the project, which has faced incessant delays – and is yet to break ground nearly three years down the line. “I want to see the investors begin constructing these power plants. This project has faced a lot of delays,” said Mr Keter in an interview.

GDC began drilling at Menengai field in February 2011 and has so far sank 34 wells with a confirmed output of 137MW.

The agency has invested a total of Sh39.6 billion in the Menengai project to drill, buy seven rigs, develop infrastructure such as roads, water pipeline; and a steam gathering system.

H Young is currently building the network of pipes tapping underground steam to the three privately-owned power plants.

A high voltage line to evacuate the 105 MW from Menengai to the national grid is currently under construction.

Works on the 12.6 kilometre Menengai – Soilo transmission line began in April 2014; and are now 95 per cent complete, according to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company. The project also includes building a substation at Menengai.

Source: Business Daily