The State has given the Menengai Geothermal Project a clean bill of health having confirmed the existence of sufficient steam to feed the proposed 105MW power plants to be constructed by independent power producers (IPPs).
Speaking on Friday during a tour of the Menengai Geothermal Project, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Hon. Charles Keter said there is 137MW of steam at the Menengai Geothermal Project, which is more than the required 105 megawatts (MW) for the Phase I of the project.
“I expect the three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) contracted by GDC to commence the construction of the three power plants immediately but not later that the 30 days’ notice that GDC has given them; the Ministry will not extend the deadline, we need to see action,” Hon. Keter cautioned the IPPs
“The Government has already invested Kes. 40 billion in the Menengai project and GDC has done its part by providing steam and developing the steam pipeline that will supply steam to the power plants. What remains is for the IPPs to demonstrate that they can truly put up the power plants they bid for,” added the C.S Energy and Petroleum.
The three independent power producers - Quantam Power East Africa, Orpower 22 (a consortium of Ormat, Civicon and Symbion) and Sosian Energy - plan to invest $262.5 million in the construction of the power plants. The project is expected to give 500,000 households and 300,000 businesses access to low-cost power under the Government’s 5,000MW initiative. Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) has already set up a 132kV substation that will evacuate the 105 MW of power from the power plants to the national grid.
Flanked by the Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Dr. (Eng.) Joseph Njoroge, the Chairman of GDC Board of Directors Mr. Gershom O. Bw’Omanwa, the Managing Director and CEO Eng. Johnson P. Ole Nchoe and GDC directors, the C.S assured GDC staff that the Government will fully support the company by ensuring that it attains its mission of delivering green energy to the country.
“I want to assure you that GDC is not going down. The Government will support it and we must all dedicate ourselves in ensuring that the mission is achieved,” he said.
The event was also attended by Bahati MP. Hon. Kimani Ngunjiri, who thanked GDC for creating jobs to the youth in the area.
During the visit, the C.S also officially launched the GDC In-House Catering Unit that replaces the outsourced catering service providers in Menengai. By use of in-house catering services GDC will save over 50% of its catering costs. Drilling is a 24/7 undertaking that requires drilling crew to reside in the camp where they are provided with meals.
Welcome to the Africa Geothermal Centre of Excellence
GDC has setup the African Geothermal Centre of Excellence (AGCE). The Institute offers courses on all facets of geothermal technology including but not limited to drilling engineering, Geosciences (including Geology, Geochemistry, and geophysics), reservoir engineering, environmental management, HSE, steam-field management, project management and power plant engineering. The activities are aimed at building capacity for geothermal development in Africa. GDC already has a pool of experienced human resource in all areas of geothermal development and utilization. The Institute collaborates with the regional industry players and universities.