The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has received the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) 2016 Presidential award for its flagship green energy project, Olkaria I Units 4 and 5. Early 2016, JICA, on behalf of the Japanese people, signed a Loan Agreement of 45.690 billion Japanese Yen (approx. 40 billion Kenyan shillings) for the construction of Olkaria V Geothermal Power Plant.
The drilling for the project is currently complete with construction expected to start in the middle of December 2016. KenGen is the executing agency for the project, which is has scheduled to complete and connect to the national grid in 2019. The project increases the geothermal output of KenGen by adding another 2 units totaling 140MW to the already existing geothermal power plants in Olkaria, which have an installed capacity of 513.4MW.
The 40 million KES concessional loan provided by JICA, accrues an annual interest at the rate of 0.2%, with a repayment period of 30 years including a grace period of 10 years. According to JICA this loan is the largest amount of JICA Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans since Japan started its involvement with Kenya in 1963.
Of the total installed capacity in Kenya, 296 MW has been financed by Japan through concessional ODA Loans to KenGen. These projects include Kipevu I Diesel Power Plant with a capacity of 75 MW, Sondu Miriu Hydropower Plant with a capacity of 60MW, the Sangoro Power Plant giving 21MW, and Olkaria I Units 4/5 Power Plant having a capacity of 140 MW.
The Japanese companies involved in Kenya’s geothermal sector include: West JEC, Bets Limited, Japan International Cooperation System (JICS), Kyuden Sangyo, Nippon Koei , Nittetsu Mining Consultants (NMC), Geothermal Engineering Co., Mitsubishi Materials Techno, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Kyuden International Corporation, SK Engineering, and Teiseki Drilling Co.
Besides working with KenGen in power generation , the Japanese support Kenya’s energy sector comprehensively by financing the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu Transmission Lines, and providing technical assistance on geothermal to Geothermal Development Company (GDC). JICA is also involved at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology-Institute of Energy and Environment Technology (IEET), and Rural Electrification Authority (REA).