Post by – Harrison Kamwana
KenGen, the market leader in electric power generation aims to add 1,710 more megawatts by the year 2020 from various sources to enable the government realize its goal of reducing the cost of power by 40 per cent.
The first Olkaria’s project which became the first geothermal plant in Africa was initiated in June, 1981 with the first 15 megawatts of geothermal power being commissioned, there were 24 wells.
“In 2003, the government started committing funds from the exchequer for drilling of 59 wells. Already, more than half of these wells have been connected to the new power plants” Says Managing Director and CEO Albert Mugo.
In this year the firm looks forward to launch the Olkaria I Unit 6, Olkaria V and thereafter Olkaria VI, VII with a capacity of 350 megawatts and another 280 megawatts from Olkaria VII and VIII.
“Some 374.7 megawatts of steam is available, with 84 megawatts available for Olkaria I Unit 6, asingle unit of 70 megawatts to be constructed at Olkaria I” Said KenGen’s Director for Geothermal Development, Eng. Abel Rotich in 2015’s issue.
Already, 400 megawatts of 665 megawatts is available for Horizon II projects in the new capacity of creating a sustainable power growth in Kenya by 2018 raising its capacity to 3,200 megawatts. Horizon 1 was completed in 2012/13 with 350 megawatts.
“Olkaria V is a 140 megawatts project. Steam available for this plant is 166.4 megawatts while the other 140 megawatts Olkaria VI has 124.3 megawatts of available steam,” Says Rotich, adding: “Testing of other wells is in progress. We are also drilling more wells to meet our requirements going forward.”
The company during the first horizon (2008-2012) in its goal to stabilize the power situation in Kenya increased its installed capacity from below 1,000 megawatts in 2008 to 1,231 megawatts in 2012.
Sondu 60 megawatts, Ngong Wind 5.1 megawatts, Kiambere upgrading by 24 megawatts, Tana redevelopment from 14 megawatts to 24 megawatts, 35 megawatts Olkaria II 3rd unit and 2.5 megawatts Eburru, 120 megawatts Kipevu III,21 megawatts Sangoro, 5 megawatts Pilot wellhead and Kindruma 24 megawatts were among the projects implememented during Horizo I.
KenGen is the 7th largest geothermal producer in the world and largest in Africa following the last year’s commisisoning of the first world Mega Geothermal Project 280 megawatts Olkaria I and IV.
It recently drilled the largest Geothermal 30 megawatts Well in Africa. It is the leading power generation company producing 72 per cent of electricity consumed country wide.The company had installed capacity of 1,611 megawatts by 30th June 2015.