The Kenyan-based energy developer Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has been ordered to ensure that its project of generating steam power at the Menengai fields doesn’t become another “white elephant project”.
According to the Daily Nation, a director at the Kenya Vision 2030 secretariat, Jonathan Lodompui, stated that the geothermal project is envisioned to speed up the country’s ambitious flagship project of providing citizens with green energy.
Media quoted the Vision 2030 roadmap, stating that the Menengai fields is one of the key pillars of the 5,000MW that the country is targeting to generate.
It is reported that the drilling of the Menengai fields started in 2011 and so far GDC has managed to generate 105MW, which is yet to be added to the national grid.
The delay has been blamed on the independent power producers (IPPs) who are reported to have not completed constructing power plants at the site.
Last month, the energy and petroleum cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter, requested the geothermal IPPs to begin producing green energy as per their contracts.
Keter gave a 30-day notice period to the IPPs to start producing electricity from steam wells or have their contracts terminated.
“We were supposed to celebrate the inclusion of 105MW from Menengai wells in the national grid last Christmas but this has been delayed,” Lodompui noted.
GDC gets extension
Lodompui said the secretariat has advised GDC to sort out the pending technical issues and avoid further delays, media reported.
“We are going to extend more time to GDC to resolve the outstanding technical issues slowing down the generation of power at Menengai wells and hopefully they will stick to the new timelines,” he said.
However, he did not indicate the time frame only saying “we have discussed this issue internally with GDC management and we have advised them accordingly.”
It is reported that Lodompui was speaking in Nakuru Town when he led a team from the Vision 2030 secretariat who were inspecting the environmental strategic impact assessment initiatives at the site by the company.