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Ormat starts operation of 29 MW expansion at Olkaria III plant in Kenya

Olkaria III plant by Ormat (source: video screenshot)
Alexander Richter 4 Feb 2016

Ormat starts operation of 29 MW expansion at Olkaria III complex in Kenya.

In a release today, Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced that it reached commercial operation of Plant 4 in the Olkaria III complex in Kenya, increasing the complex total generating capacity by 29 MW to 139 MW.

Plant 4 will sell its electricity to Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC) under a 20-year PPA. In October 2015, Ormat signed an amendment to the Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with KPLC that enables the increase of the capacity of Plant 4 expansions to an aggregate of 100 MW, in phases.

“With the commissioning of plant 4, the 140 MW Olkaria III complex will provide clean and reliable electricity to over 250,000 households in Kenya, supporting the Government of Kenya’s 2030 vision to increase generation capacity,” noted Isaac Angel, Chief Executive Officer “We are proud to be part of Kenya’s efforts, and view this facility as a key component of our geographic expansion strategy. Now that we have the commercial terms in place, we will continue to evaluate the feasibility of future expansions of the Olkaria III complex as well as other prospects to support our growth in Kenya.”

Ormat has implemented a multi-phased development strategy in Olkaria III. The first phase of Plant 1 commenced operation in 2000 and the second phase in 2009. Plant 2 commenced commercial operation in 2013 and plant 3 in 2014. Ormat financed the first three plants of the complex with a $310 million debt facility provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.  Plant 4 was financed by Ormat equity which is covered under insurance policy from MIGA (a member of the World Bank Group) to cover its exposure to certain political risks involved in operating in developing countries.

Source: Company release