KENYA: Kengen to Expand Capacity of Olkaria Geothermal Complex

Kenya is still ahead of its neighbors in the Rift Valley when it comes to geothermal energy production. Africa’s largest producer of this clean energy, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), is completing feasibility studies for the expansion of the Olkaria geothermal plant. The 70% Kenyan state-owned company plans to develop a 7th phase of the plant with an expected capacity of 140 MWe.

In the meantime, Kenya’s largest power producer (with a capacity of 1,814 MW) is completing the construction of unit VI of the Olkaria complex. According to Peketsa Mangi, KenGen’s geothermal development manager, the plant will be commissioned in the next 3 months. The facility will have a capacity of 86 MWe.

“The addition of power generation units to the national grid underscores KenGen’s and the government’s commitment to clean energy and reducing the carbon footprint of the environment,” says Mangi. According to Mangi, KenGen is in the final stages of upgrading the geothermal development in the Eburru Wellhead area by drilling additional wells to reach a production capacity of up to 25 MW from the current 2.5 MW.

The construction of a 7th unit will make Olkaria the largest geothermal project in Africa with an installed capacity of 790 MWe. KenGen could develop another phase as the geothermal site’s power generation potential is estimated at 2,000 MWp.