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Kenya: Geothermal steam could generate huge revenue

Local media the Daily Nation reported that the Kenyan-based Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has declared that it expects to generate Sh1.7 billion ($16 million) from the sale of steam from its Menengai geothermal fields.

The company’s corporate communications manager, Ruth Musembi, revealed to the media that the field is now ripe for electricity production.

Musembi pointed out that this development will allow the three independent power producers (IPPs) that were licensed to build power plants to begin work.

The companies include Quantam Power East Africa, OrPower Twenty Two and Sosian Energy.

Minister directs geothermal IPPs to deliver

Last month, the energy and petroleum cabinet secretary, Charles Keter, gave a 30-day notice period to the geothermal IPPs, to start producing electricity from steam wells or have their contracts terminated.

It is reported that the power producers have also signed a power purchase agreement with Kenya Power to buy the generated power to inject into the national grid.

The three companies are responsible to seek finance, construction and operation of the geothermal power plants at a total cost of $300 million.

“The three power producers have been allocated space at Menengai fields where they will construct the power plants,” Musembi stated.

She added: “All the paperwork is complete and GDC has already signed a project implementation and steam supply agreement with the power producers.”

Geothermal developments

Media highlighted that the drilling work on the geothermal project began back in 2011.

Meanwhile, Musembi said the project should be completed by 2018, whereby 105MW is expected to be generated.

Furthermore, the Daily Nation reported that Musembi also revealed that plans are underway to launch the Baringo-Silale project where phase one is targeted to generate 200MW of power.

“The drilling of the fields is expected to commence early 2017 and GDC has already acquired an environmental and social impact assessment license allowing the exploitation of the massive resources,” she said.

The first phase is reported to be funded by the government and development partners who have provided a loan of Sh8 billion ($78 million).

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.