The country’s largest power producer, KenGen has called for a detailed feasibility of the Olkaria I geothermal power plant following a long time in operation that has deteriorated the plant’s condition.

The plant which produces 45 mega watts of power was the first geothermal power plant in Africa. Located in the Rift Valley, the plant was commissioned in three phases and has three units each generating 15MW of electricity. The first unit was commissioned in June 1981, the second unit in November 1982 and the third unit in March 1985.

The plant has however experienced normal wear and tear after over 32 years of operation. The technology which was the basis for design has also been overtaken by the latest user friendly and efficient technologies.

“In addition, most equipment of the plant is no longer in production thus making acquisition of spare parts difficult”, says KenGen in a statement.

The company has thus called upon interested consulting firms to tender for carrying out a detailed study to determine the plant’s current condition and advice on whether to rehabilitate, upgrade or retire the power plant and construct a new one.

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