Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) signed a steam field development contract with Synopec International of China worth Ksh 11.6 billion, after the Chinese firm emerged the winner in an international competitive bidding process. This project is jointly funded by KFW and the World Bank, which were both available at the signing ceremony.

The contract is the last lot of various contracts in the ongoing 280MW power project in Olkaria, Naivasha. It will entail installation of a pipeline system to collect steam from various wells, steam separators as well as steam field control system. The total piping system installation is 40KM and includes various pipe sizes of up to 42 inches radius.

Implementation of the contract signed kicks off immediately and is scheduled to be completed in 20 months. Wells to generate steam for the project have already been successfully drilled having been funded by the GOK. The wells drilled are 57, with steam harvest able to generate 394MW confirmed.

Other contracts on the 280 MW geothermal project are power plant construction being undertaken by a consortium of Hyundai of Korea and Tshusho of Japan, Transmission lines and sub stations being constructed by KEC of India and the overall project management being carried out by Sinclair Mertz of Australia.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, KenGen Chief Executive Officer and MD Eddy Njoroge said the project is the last major milestone in construction of the 280 MW geothermal project that will pump a further 25% of current capacity to the national grid once complete 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 of the more expensive modes of generation’ further added Njoroge.

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 underway, KenGen has set sight on the next geothermal project that targets 520MW in Olkaria where huge steam potential has been confirmed.

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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