Nairobi – Kenya’s largest energy utility, KenGen, recently outlined a geothermal-led pipeline of renewable energy projects focused on supporting the Nairobi Government’s economic growth agenda. KenGen has an annual capacity of 1 631 MW and it supplies 70% of the East African nation’s electricity. The utility is embarking on a geothermal-led renewable energy strategy with a target to add 2500MW of new energy capacity consisting primarily of geothermal energy.
According to the Managing Director & CEO, Mrs. Rebecca Miano, KenGen will over the next 12 months focus on delivering the Olkaria I Unit 6 geothermal power plant which will add 83.3MW to the national grid.
Our capacity addition program remains aligned to the Government’s Big 4 Agenda, the Vision 2030 development blueprint and medium-term development plans. This is critical in supporting the Government’s plan to provide universal access to electricity
The geothermal-led strategy bearing fruit
“KenGen is also continuing with its geothermal exploration program in Olkaria. To date, we have drilled more than 310 wells to support our geothermal-led strategy,” she added.
KenGen recently shortlisted four firms for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to implement Olkaria VI plant which is set to add 140MW to the national grid. Whilst procurement for redevelopment of Olkaria I power plant is in its final stages. Once completed, the plant’s capacity will increase from the current 45MW to 50MW and extend its life by 25 years.
Other projects under different stages of implementation include the redevelopment of Gogo Power Plant in Migori County which is aimed at increasing the current installed capacity from 2MW to 10MW. This will raise the Masinga Dam Spillway by an additional 1.5 metres to increase storage and power generation capacity.
KenGen is conducting a feasibility study to determine the potential of Wind Power in Marsabit and the utilization of natural gas in order to increase baseload capacity, supplement geothermal energy and reduce the cost of power associated with diesel generation. The utility is also in discussions with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to evaluate the feasibility of installing a Municipal Waste to Energy Power Plant.
KenGen’s diversification agenda
The KenGen boss further highlighted the company’s diversification agenda, saying the utility is also focusing on non-energy generation revenue sources including drilling, consultancy, operations and maintenance services and training by leveraging on its resources, mainly equipment and technical skills. This is part of KenGen’s ambitions to diversify and draw revenue from other sources besides their electricity sales.
She added that to ensure business sustainability, the company was keen on giving employees an opportunity to innovate and pursue business improvement initiatives. “Agility and resilience are the cornerstone of business sustainability. In order to remain agile and resilient, we recognize the innovative minds of our staff and give them the support and empowerment they deserve to be creative,” said Mano
A number of innovative programmes and projects cutting across process improvements, manufacturing, and service provision to other players in the energy sector are in various stages of implementation.
“It is through this commitment to innovation and bold steps to pursue new horizons that we have seen our Company enter new markets in the region,” she said.