Power producer KenGen is set to start the construction of the Olkaria V 140 megawatt plant by June this year after a delay of more than a year. The delay was occasioned by the lengthy process of recruiting a contractor and securing funds for the project.
The plant, which is expected to cost over Sh55 billion, will increase electricity available from geothermal and further stabilise power supply in the country when complete in 2019.
Though Kenya has substantially grown the energy generation mix, it is still heavily reliant on hydroelectricity and hence susceptible to shocks whenever there is a prolonged dry spell.
Construction works were expected to start last year and the plant ready for commissioning in 2018, but were delayed as KenGen sourced for a contractor and all the funding required to put up the plant.
Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said Thursday everything is now in place and construction will start in June and the plant will be ready to start feeding the national electricity grid by 2019.
He said some of the issues that had delayed the project, including the procurement of a contractor and financing, had been sorted out.
“We should be breaking ground in May or June this year,” he said.
He spoke in Nairobi on the sidelines of a renewable energy conference.
“The project is now fully funded. We have funds from various sources but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the main funding agency,” added the PS.