Mombasa is not only the gateway to the East Africa. It’s also a home to several power plants that greatly feed the national grid. Built at a record of time of 14 months, Kipevu III was the government’s immediate alternative move to help address the acute shortage of power as well as reduce the country’s reliance on emergency power.
Kipevu III is the newest of the three Kipevu streams of power plants located in the same area in Mombasa. It was established in 2009-10 with an installed capacity of 120MW.However, only 115MW is sold to Kenya Power to be distributed to consumers.
A point to note is Kipevu III does not get any bills from Kenya Power like most of us do every month. Part of the produced power is used for daily operations on the plant (that explains why 5MW of the total power produced is not fed into the grid).
According to the Chief Engineer, Eng. Simon Kirui, the plant prospects natural gas as their most preferred future source of power. If they were to turn to an alternative, it would be natural gas which the engineer says is much cheaper as compared to heavy fuel. The plant, build in the latest technology, is built in a way such that, if they resolved to using gas, only a few adjustments would be made, most of the plant is equally compatible.
The plant, fitted with seven W18V46 engines, boasts a fully automated fire response system and it’s also keen on recycling where several components like steam produced is recycled and used for other operations.
Fully funded by Kenyans at a total cost of KSh10 billion, the power plant is owned by KenGen but is operated and maintained by Wartsila.
Source: Project AWEsome files