Ormat completes Olkaria III ahead of schedule

The geothermal complex at Ol Karia in Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
The geothermal complex at Ol Karia in Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
OrPower 4 Inc., a subsidiary of US firm Ormat Techonologies, has completed construction of the third power generating unit at Olkaria III geothermal complex in Naivasha three months ahead of schedule, raising the complex’s capacity to 110 megawatts.

“With Plant III online, the complex’s total generation capacity has increased to 110 megawatts that is sold to Kenya Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA),” Ormat’s chief executive Dita Bronicki said in a statement.

The first power generating unit has an output of 48MW while the second and third units generate 36MW and 26MW respectively.

The complex, which has been under construction for the past five years, was financed with a Sh26.5 billion debt facility provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation – a US agency that helps to pay for projects that will use American expertise and inputs and generally advance US commercial interests abroad.

“In less than one year, we’ve completed construction of two additional plants and, over the course of five years, more than doubled the facility’s generating capacity,” Mrs Bronicki said.

The completion of Olkaria III complex steps up Kenya’s pursuit to add 5,000MW to the national grid in the next four years to stabilise power supply in the country.