Kenya, Africa’s largest producer of geothermal energy continues to increase its geothermal capacity with the commencement of construction work on Kenya’s Olkaria 1 unit 6 geothermal power plant kicked off this week during a ground breaking ceremony presided over by the country’s President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya’s latest project further cements Kenya’s position as Africa’s largest geothermal power producer. Once the construction of the latest geothermal project is completed and brings on-stream an additional 83MW of electricity the country will boast of being the leading country in the world with the largest proportion of geothermal installed capacity out of its total capacity.
Largest African geothermal power producer
Kenya first went into geothermal power production in 1981 and became the first African country to do so with a generating of 45MW with its Olkaria I Power Station. Another first for geothermal production came with the completion of Olkaria II which at 70MW was tagged as the largest geothermal power station in Africa. This second plant as further upgraded in 2010 to bring total production to 150MW.
Olkaria II Power Station is one of Africa’s largest Geothermal Power Station. It generates 70MW and is the second geothermal plant owned and operated by KenGen.
The second phase of Olkaria || was commissioned in 2010 injecting an extra 35 MW of power making a total of 150MW of power produced through geothermal means.
Recent developments in geothermal technology has meant that design and construction has benefitted from more efficient use of steam produced. It works on single flash plant cycle with a steam consumption of 7.5 t/h/MW. The turbines are single flow six stage condensing with direct contact spray jet condenser.
The 83.3 MW Olkaria I Unit 6 geothermal project has a planned commissioning date of early 2021.