Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has started construction of a new geothermal power plant in Naivasha.
The Olkaria 1 Additional Unit 6 plant will increase the country’s geothermal power output by 83 megawatts.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday graced the project’s ground-breaking ceremony, whose completion is scheduled for 2021.
KenGen is planning to add another 720MW to the national grid in the medium term, mainly from green sources.
President Kenyatta lauded the company’s contribution to Kenya’s energy security.
“These plans resonate well with our development agenda which heavily depends on energy for actualisation. Besides, geothermal, which is one of Kenya’s major sources, is a stable source of energy,” he said.
KenGen has an installed energy capacity of 1,631MW with leading energy type being hydro (818MW) followed by geothermal at 534MW, thermal at 253.5MW and wind at 25.5MW. The country’s total installed capacity is 2,370MW.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the Government had formulated strategies geared towards rapidly expanding the country’s power capacity.
“These strategies will further expand and upgrade transmission and distribution networks and also develop renewable sources of energy,” he added.
The contract for engineering, procurement and construction of the new power plant has been awarded to a Japanese company, Marubeni Corporation.
KenGen Managing Director Rebecca Miano said the additional power plant was aligned to the company’s long-term strategy for ensuring a sustainable supply of renewable energy.
“KenGen has realised incremental growth in geothermal power, a major catalyst in meeting the country’s growing electricity demand,” she said.
At the same time, Uhuru directed KenGen to facilitate infrastructure projects in Naivasha to help the area residents.
“These projects must also benefit residents of this town through job creation so that they own them and this is how we would like to work as a country,” he said.
Among the projects, he identified was Naivasha Sub-county Hospital, where he said Kengen should pump in Sh300 million for expansion.
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