KenGen signs 280 megawatt geothermal power contract with Chinese company
NAIROBI (Xinhua) – Kenya Energy Generating Company (KenGen) has signed the final major contract for the development of 280 megawatts of geothermal power in Olkaria, about 100 km southwest of Naivasha.
The Lot A Contract with the Chinese firm, Sinopec International Petroleum Company (SIPC) is for the development of the steam field. KenGen Managing Director Eddy Njoroge said the steam comprises installation of steam pipelines, steam separators, and steam field control system - to deliver steam from geothermal wells to Olkaria 1Unit 4&6 and Olkaria IV power plants, each with a capacity of 140 megawatts.
"We already have sufficient steam to generate over 380 megawatts of geothermal power in Olkaria," Njoroge told journalists in Nairobi. The contract, with duration of 20 months, was awarded to SIPC through competitive bidding and is financed by World Bank and KfW of Germany.
The total piping system installation length is over 40 kilometers and includes various pipe sizes which range up to 42 inches in diameter. Wells for producing steam for the project have already been successfully drilled, which have been funded by the government of Kenya.
The wells drilled are 57, with a steam harvest able to generate 380 MW confirmed. Njoroge said the contract is the last major milestone in the construction of the 280 MW geothermal project that will inject a further 25 percent of current capacity into the national grid once completed in mid 2014.
"With such a huge boost from this clean, reliable and competitively priced form of electricity, consumer prices will ease as the country will require less generation from the more expensive sources," added Njoroge. Other major contracts on the 280 MW geothermal project are power plant (Lot B) construction being undertaken by a Consortium of Hyundai of Korea and Toyota Tshusho of Japan at a cost of 394 million dollars which was signed in November last year, and the construction of transmission lines and sub stations (Lot C) by KEC International of India signed in December 2011 at a cost of 26 million dollars.
The overall project management is being carried out by Sinclair Mertz of New Zealand at a cost of 19 million dollars. This contract brings the total committed contract to about 580 million dollars. KenGen will be procuring the other components like roads, water, housing complex and offices.
KenGen strategic plan puts the power generator on a green energy path, with geothermal expected to provide half of electricity needs of the country by 2018. With the 280MW project now firmly under way, KenGen has set sights on the next phase of geothermal project that targets 520MW in Olkaria. Drilling contracts for this project will be signed soon. (Xinhua)