Africa-focused independent power producer, Globeleq, has started construction of the 35MW Menengai geothermal project in Nakuru County, Kenya. The company hosted a ground-breaking ceremony this week to commemorate the commencement of construction, with Rigathi Gachagua, the Deputy President of Kenya in attendance.
“We are honoured that His Excellency the Deputy President has taken part in today’s ground-breaking ceremony at Menengai,” said Mike Scholey, Globeleq’s CEO.
“This will be Globeleq’s very first geothermal plant and our second project in Kenya alongside our Malindi Solar plant in the coastal region. Today’s event symbolises Globeleq’s commitment both to Kenya and to playing a leading role in delivering Kenya’s energy transition,” adds Scholey.
The project is being built at an estimated investment of US$108 million, in partnership with state-owned company, Geothermal Development Company (GDC).
Globeleq revealed that it expects the Menengai project to reach Financial Close within the three weeks, subject to the remaining conditions precedent being fulfilled by the Government. Globeleq will operate and maintain the power plant once it reaches commercial operations in 2025.
“This is an exciting moment for GDC and Kenya. Our efforts to de-risk the geothermal sector in Kenya has culminated in the ground-breaking for the construction of this 35 MW power plant. At GDC, we hold in esteem our partnership with Globeleq as we march towards attracting investors and lowering the cost of power in Kenya,” Paul Ngugi, CEO of GDC.
Menengai is a greenfield geothermal project and part of the first phase of the wider Menengai complex, which is the second large-scale geothermal field being developed in Kenya after Olkaria.
Steam will be supplied to the project by GDC under a 25-year project implementation and steam supply agreement. Once the plant is operational, electricity will be sold to Kenya Power, the national distribution company, under a power purchase agreement for the same timeframe.
Toyota Tsusho Corporation from Japan is the EPC contractor for the project. Fuji Electric will be manufacturing and supplying the steam turbine and generator.