KenGen secures Sh14b for Olkaria I expansion


KenGen to generate an additional 375MW

The Kenya Electricity Generation Company, KenGen, has secured Sh14 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for expansion of geothermal exploration.

The funds will finance the expansion of the Olkaria I plant unit six which will generate 70 megawatts.

This will push up the plants total capacity up to 210 megawatts as the country shifts focus to renewable energy.

KenGen Managing Director Albert Mugo says the increased investment in geothermal will ultimately bring down the cost of electricity in the country.

“Since 2014 when we brought in this project we have been able to displace a lot of diesel generation and that is what has stabilized power supply as well as the cost because we are not using thermal power which keeps fluctuating,” Mr Mugo said.

Geothermal energy accounts for 48 percent of all installed power in the country at 650 megawatts.

He was speaking during a tour of the Olkaria geothermal site with a delegation from the European Union.

European Investment Bank Kenya representative Catherine Collin that the European Union had in the past supported KenGen in various power projects adding that partnership would continue.

“The 123 million Euro grant will come from various financiers and its part of assisting the country increase its renewable energy across the country,” she said.

EIB has also financed the construction of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project, set to generate 310 megawatts of electricity once complete.

Construction on unit six is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2017.

KenGen in June raised Sh26.5 billion shillings from its shareholders which it plans to invest in energy projects.

The State owned power producer has an installed capacity of 1,618 megawatts making up 70 percent of the country’s totaled electricity capacity.

The power producer is also set to commence construction of the Olkaria VI plant in December through a public private partnership arrangement.

The plant once complete will generate 140 megawatts of electricity.

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