KenGen’s 140MW
Olkario IV geothermal
power plant
Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 27 February 2012 – Electricity generation company KenGen says it has finished drilling a well to support its 280MW power plant in Kenya, adding that it intends to step up output as its power is cheaper than that from the independent producers.

KenGen managing director Eddy Njoroge said the firm would use portable well head generators to enable it to start generating electricity immediately a well was complete and while the more permanent power station was being constructed. “We already have sufficient steam to generate 360MW,” Njoroge told a visiting parliamentary committee on energy.

KenGen said it was working towards having an output of 585MW by 2018 “’ a project that would require drilling of at least 168 geothermal wells.

The company recently acquired two modern electric rigs to fast-track its drilling programme. This brought to seven the total fleet of rigs currently generating in Olkaria. Geothermal power was expected to ease supply disruptions to consumers as weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, affecting the hydro generation of power in times of drought.

Kenya is expected to source half of its power from geothermal sources by 2018 by which time the targeted output has been set at 1,260MW.

The tour by the energy committee was to verify the installation and efficiency of the recently installed well head generators at Olkaria, which was the subject of a recent media report that there had been alleged corruption in the tendering and procurement process.