The construction of the first of three private owned multi-million dollars geothermal power plants on the Menengai Crater in Nakuru, Kenya, is set to begin this coming December.
This is after the three Independent Power Producers (IPPS) behind the development were cleared by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and granted all the necessary licenses by the State to start operations at the Menengai Crater Floor.
The IPPs to develop the power plants, for which drilling was conducted by Geothermal Development Company (GDC) are, OrPower22 (Ormat), Quantum Power East Africa and Sosian Menengai Energy.
Each one of the three companies is expected to set up at least a 35MW modular geothermal power plant under a build-own-operate model (BOO) in the Menengai Crater field to generate a cumulative 170MW.
Project behind schedule
Erastus Mbui Mwenda, the Nakuru county commissioner while speaking when members of the Nakuru County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) inspected the facility revealed that construction of the power plants was behind schedule.
A public tender for the project was released in September 2013 and the contract awarded to the three companies. The PPA with Kenya Power was signed in October 2014, followed by a project implementation and steam supply agreement with GDC in October 2014. Drilling was done by GDC with H.Young building the steam gathering system under an EPC agreement. The project had been slated to kick off in January this year according to Mr. Mwenda.
Once completed, the Menengai Geothermal Station will produce enough electricity to serve almost half a million homesteads and 300,000 businesses.