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Kenya’s KenGen with US$ 300m loan from France

Alexander Richter 13 Mar 2009

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, said on Thursday it had received a US$300 million loan from the French Development Agency to develop a geothermal production unit.

Reported by Reuters, KenGen, “the Kenya Electricity Generating Company, said on Thursday it had received a US$300 million loan from the French Development Agency to develop a geothermal production unit.

Kenya’s biggest power producer is fighting to catch up with demand that is widely expected to keep growing in east Africa’s largest economy, despite the global financial crisis.

“The French Development Agency (has) issued KenGen with its first loan of US$300 million without a government guarantee for the funding of the Olkaria II third unit,” a KenGen statement said.

“When complete, the power generation unit will add an additional 35 MW of electricity to the national grid.”

Kenya estimates it has a 3,000 MW potential for geothermal power. It is currently exploiting about 200 MW.

The project will also receive funding by the World Bank, European Investment Bank and KenGen’s own resources.

KenGen plans to boost geothermal power generation capacity by 500 MW by 2012.

Geothermal power comes from steam made from underground water heated by the Earth’s core, which is in turn used to turn turbines.

Although cheap and renewable, the start up cost for geothermal is expensive compared with other sources such as hydropower.”

Source: Daily Nation