The estimated potential of Menengai Geothermal Project is 1600MW. The project commenced in February, 2011 GDC has purchased 7 deep drilling rigs that are used by a Kenyan crew for drilling geothermal wells. So far GDC has realized 135MW of steam of the well head. GDC has contracted three (3) IPPs to construct three power plants under Phase 1
Three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will generate the first 105MW from Menengai. These are Quantam Power East Africa, Orpower 22 (a consortium of Ormat, Civicon and Symbion) and Sosian Energy. Each will install a 35MW power plant in Menengai. They have already been assigned plots where their power plants will stand. They will be paying GDC for the steam they will use to generate electricity. GDC and the IPPs have signed the Project Implementation and Steam Supply Agreement (PISSA). The agreement stipulates that the IPPs will finance, design, construct, install, operate and maintain the plants on a Build-Own- Operate (BOO) basis. The IPPs have also signed a steam sale agreement with Kenya Power who will off-take the power the IPPs will generate.
The development of Menengai has been supported by different financial players key among them is the Kenyan Government (GoK). Of the financiers, African Development Bank (AfDB), has given GDC the largest financial support. The French Development Agency (AFD) was the first development partner to support GDC. Other partners in Menengai include the UK Government, World Bank, scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP), and others. This assistance has gone towards the purchase of drilling rigs and materials, consultancies, capacity building initiatives and infrastructural development.
GDC has set up a direct-use demonstration project in Menengai to show how geothermal by-products can benefit communities through use in green houses, leather tannery, meat processing and development of spas, among others