Construction of Sh55bn Olkaria V plant to start in June, says Kengen

The geothermal complex at Ol Karia in Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
The geothermal complex at Olkaria in Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
The much delayed construction of the Sh55 billion Olkaria V power plant in Naivasha is finally set to begin in June, pushing forward Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen)’s bid to raise its clean energy capacity.

According to Energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge, plans for the plant, whose construction was set to begin early last year, have been finalised and the project is now ready to take off in earnest.

“The project is now fully funded. We have funds from various sources but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is the main funding agency,” Mr Njoroge told reporters in Nairobi.

The PS further disclosed that the project had been delayed by the lengthy process of enlisting a contractor and obtaining financing.

Dubbed OlKaria V, the 158 megawatt (MW) plant will enhance existing power facilities in the Olkaria geothermal fields with the aim of easing the struggling power supplies in the country.

The project is being carried out with an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan arrangement, extended to KenGen by Jica.

The plant is expected to be operational in 2019.

Last month, Kengen said it had picked a consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation & Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and H Young & Co. to deliver engineering, procurement and construction services, turbines and technical equipment for the construction of the Olkaria V power project.

MHPS will be tasked with the design of the geothermal plant, as well as the delivery of generators, condensers, steam turbines and other key auxiliaries. The company will also dispatch technical consultants to assist H Young & Co. with proficiency in installation and commissioning.

Kengen plans to add 743MW of energy by 2022; 653MW geothermal power and 73MW of wind power.