Kenya will save about Ksh 13 billion annually once the 105 MW geothermal power plants start to operate in Menengai, Nakuru by end of 2015.
The project run by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has now awarded three IPPs land where they will put up power plants. The company is also constructing a major steam gathering pipeline that will distribute the steam from wells to turbines.
“We now have three new investors partnering with the government to lower the cost of electricity,” said Mr Faisal Abbas, the GDC Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The three IPPs that are investing in Menengai are are Quantum Power East Africa, Orpower Twenty Two (A consortium of Ormat, Civicon and Symbion) and Sosian Energy. Each of these companies will install a 35 MW power plant at the Menengai Project making a total of 105 MW Net.
“We are confident about the Menengai Project that is why we are putting our money into it. We are going to support the government’s bid of industrialisation,” said Ms Caroline Waiyaki, a director at Sosian Energy.
The three IPPs signed the Project Implementation and Steam Supply Agreement (PISSA) where GDC has guaranteed the supply of 105 MW of steam. They have also signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power.
The GDC Managing Director Dr Silas Simiyu lauded the IPPs for their speed. He noted that Menengai will be the fastest developed geothermal field in the world. Upon completion of the 105 MW, it is projected that the country will save about Kshs 13 billion annually as fuel levy.
Geothermal is a natural fuel that has no recurrent costs once it has started to generate electricity. Each year, the country spends about Ksh 45 billion to buy diesel for power generation. The quick coming of Menengai will enable the country to displace some of the diesel-generated electricity.