The Unit II of the Olkaria V geothermal power plant is now fully operational. Italian group Steam, one of the companies in the SGC Geothermal consortium that worked on this project with Gesto Energy, made the announcement. The Olkaria V geothermal plant, is one of the largest geothermal power plants currently under construction and the largest African geothermal plant.
The power plant is part of KenGen’s green energy development agenda aimed at delivering 721MW of renewable energy by year 2020, at an investment close to about US $1.3bn. The project is funded by Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Kenya.
Olkaria V geothermal plant
The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for this project was executed by three companies; Mitsubishi Corporation, whose role was to supply equipment for the geothermal power plant, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems was responsible for transporting equipment from the eastern port of Mombasa to the site where the plant is located in western Kenya.
H Young & Company (HY) was chosen to supply some of the parts needed to equip the steam plant. The first unit of this plant was commissioned in July 2019 by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the independent power producer (IPP) developing the project in western Kenya. Both Unit 1 and 2 will supply a total of 160 MW of electricity and absorbing 500 tonnes of dry steam per hour, at temperatures of about 270 degrees Celsius.
Energy sector in Kenya
About 80% of Kenya’s installed capacity is from renewable sources; which is more than three times the global average. Over the years, KenGen has developed a rich energy mix comprising hydro (819.9MW), geothermal (612MW), thermal (253.5MW) and wind (25.5MW) with the focus being on renewable energy sources.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE) listed power generator is also developing an additional unit(Unit 6) at Olkaria 1. “Consistent with our long-term plan, we are continuously working on increasing our renewable energy to provide affordable energy to Kenyans while safeguarding the environment. This, in turn, will lead to the provision of stable energy to power households and industries across the country,” said CEO Rebecca.