Ormat starts operation of 2nd Plant at Olkaria III, Kenya

Olkaria III geothermal plant, Kenya (source: emerging africa fund)
Alexander Richter 3 May 2013

Ormat Technologies starts commercial operation of second plant in the Olkaria III complex in Naivasha, Kenya adding 36 MW to the 48 MW currently installed.

In a release, Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORAannounces “that it reached commercial operation of Plant 2 in the Olkaria III complex in Naivasha, Kenya, increasing the company’s total generating capacity by 36 MW to 611 MW worldwide.  Ormat also plans to add an additional 16 MW of generation at Olkaria III by building a third plant, which it expects to complete in 2014. Once Plant 3 is complete, total capacity at the Olkaria III complex will reach approximately 100 MW. The power generated in the Olkaria III complex is sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC).

Ormat financed the new 36 MW plant, as well as the first two phases of the complex completed in 2000 and 2009, with a $265 million debt facility provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC will also finance the construction of Plant 3 with another $45 million debt facility.

As a clean, base-load power source, the Olkaria III geothermal complex provides the country with a cost-effective alternative to imported oil, offsetting approximately 450,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“Ormat benefited significantly from implementing a multi-phased development strategy with Olkaria III and our success in Kenya exemplifies the value of this approach.  Drawing knowledge from each phase of development to improve project and plant performance as we methodically expand has allowed us to maximize efficiency and reduce risk,” said Dita Bronicki, chief executive officer of Ormat. “Ormat is proud to be a part of Kenya’s efforts to provide reliable power and reduce emissions for a cleaner future. We have achieved these great accomplishments through the hard work and dedication of many throughout our organization, including Olkaria III’s operation team comprised entirely of skilled local employees.”

Source: Company release via PR Newswire