Kenya’s KenGen makes moves to add further 140MW in geothermal capacity

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By Zimbabwe Investor on May 21, 2014. No Comments

Kenya’s main electricity producer KenGen is looking for an adviser to help it secure financing for the development of a 140MW geothermal plant.

“We hope to have picked the transaction adviser by the end of July after which the firm will start preparing the tender documents including how we will evaluate potential investors,” said KenGen chief executive Alfred Mugo.

KenGen the 70% government owned company has installed capacity of 1,252 megawatts out of Kenya’s total 1,767MW. It aims to add another 844MW to the grid by 2017 as part of a broader national power expansion program in which the government targets installed capacity of 5,000MW by then, in a bid to boost growth.

Given that c.46% of Kenya’s capacity is from hydropower generation, solely from KenGen, this has made the country prone to high energy costs in times of droughts. Low hydrology levels, as is the current situation, have prompted increased usage of diesel-fired thermal power capacity of which the fuel cost is passed on to the consumer, increasing their burden. As such, much of the new power supply will come from geothermal sources, tapping underground steam from the Rift Valley.