KenGen officially broke ground for 75MW Olkaria V wellhead geothermal power station in Naivasha on April 28, 2017. The plant of power capacity 158MW is scheduled to be connected to the national grid at the end of 2018.
Presiding over the ceremony, President Kenyatta noted that Kenya has a bounty of green alternatives that have not been explored. “The country enjoys a range of energy alternative that are yet to be exploited to the full due to over reliance on other sources like hydro and thermal power generation. This has created a challenging environment for companies and new businesses investing in Kenya,” he said.
“Energy has the power to change lives and the government has taken initiative to launch projects in the power sector in order to bring transformation in supply of clean and affordable energy, which is in line with Kenya Vision 2030,” he remarked.
Kenyatta also applauded KenGen for its boldness to take risk that saw it install the first pilot unit of Olkaria using wellhead technology in 2009. The technology involves tapping steam from wells, which are undergoing tests or awaiting connection to permanent plants.
On his part, Energy Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Charles Keter stated “This is a major milestone for Kenya’s economy as KenGen has a reputation of efficient implementation of projects. We are now at position 7 in global geothermal generation ranking and with completion of Olkaria V, we will advance to position 6.”
The first Olkaria V plant will begin generating electricity in 27 months while the second one will be ready in 30 months.
Present at the launch was Energy Permanent Secretary, Eng. Njoroge, Managing Director and CEO of KenGen, Albert Mugo and Japan Ambassador to Kenya H. E. Toshisugu Uesawa.