Nov 18, 2011
International finance key to unlocking Kenya’s geothermal potentialBack
© Reuse this
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) MD Eddy Njoroge tells Engineering News in an interview that Kenya’s target of generating 5 000 MW from geothermal sources by 2030 will only be realised if international financiers partner with the East Africa nation.
“We want to explore cheaper sources of electricity. Geothermal power production is less costly compared with thermal, hydro or even wind. The challenge we have is raising the funds for constructing the geothermal plants and that is why we need international financiers to partner with us,” he says.
He adds that, in the next five years alone, KenGen will require at least $4.5-billion to implement projects with the capacity to generate 1 200 MW from geothermal wells in the Olkaria and Menengai fields in the Rift Valley.
KenGen has awarded the contract for the construction of a 280 MW geothermal project to a consortium of Tsusho Corporation, of Japan, and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, of South Korea.
Njoroge says with energy demand in Kenya expected to increase at an average of 8% a year, only massive investments in geothermal will end Kenya’s chronic power shortages.
“Geothermal will help us mitigate the inconveniencies of a power crisis precipitated by overreliance on hydro and will result in the cost of power coming down,” he says.
In recent months, Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the cost of electricity owing to declining water levels in rivers generating electricity.
Electricity generation from hydro sources has been scaled down to 29% and generation from thermal has increased to 57%.
Njoroge says Kenya’s national installed capacity stands at 1 616 MW, with a peak demand of 1 200 MW, which is expected to surge to 15 000 MW by 2030.
“We anticipate this new capacity to be from geothermal, thermal, wind, coal and imports,” he states.
The 280 MW Olkaria geothermal power project will consist of two power plants of 140 MW. It is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Germany Development Bank and KenGen.
The plant, which will be the biggest geothermal plant in Africa, will be built in 27 months and is expected to be fully operational in 2014.
KenGen is Kenya’s leading electricity generator, producing 75% of the electricity consumed in the country.
To date, Kenya has managed to exploit a mere 280 MW of geothermal power in Olkaria, although it has identified more than 14 high-potential sites along the Rift Valley with the capacity to generate between 7 000 MW and 10 000 MW.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Updated 7 hours ago Up to $2-trillion in petroleum and coal projects will not be needed if the world takes action to limit warming of the planet to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a report released this week ahead of a global climate summit in Paris. The report adds to a string of...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Updated 36 minutes ago The World Bank on Tuesday unveiled a new plan that calls for $16-billion in funding to help African people and countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks. The Africa climate business plan, titled ‘Accelerating...
Updated 48 minutes ago The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, issued on Wednesday its first South African rand-denominated green bond, raising around $71-million for climate-friendly investments in emerging markets. The nine-year R1-billion paper was issued...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to completely change the relationships between individual consumers, professional designers and manufacturers. So argued Loughborough University Reader in Computer Aided Product Design Dr Ian...
Airbus Defence and Space: Military Aircraft has highlighted that its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) has significant commonalities with the Airbus A330-200 commercial airliner, upon which it is based. The South African Air Force (SAAF) once operated a fleet of...
Financial services provider Nedbank launched the second edition of its Carbon Footprinting Guide earlier this month, which is aimed at demystifying carbon footprint approaches and help readers grasp the main concepts of carbon measuring, monitoring, reporting and...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Caterpillar’s first backhoe loader. This also coincides with the worldwide release of its latest-generation F2 series backhoe loader, which was launched at supply chain services company Barloworld Logistics’ Big Dig Day in...
A shortage of software engineers is leading to fewer information technology (IT) projects in private and public sector organisations. This also places a dampener on the economy, as IT is an integral part of business and civil service, says University of Witwatersrand...