Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Chairman, Joshua Choge, said the company was targeting the installation of an additional 766 megawatts (MW) by the year 2020, 676MW of which will come from geothermal sources.

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“The success of this innovative technology underscores the importance of continuing our strategy of leveraging on innovation and continuous improvement. This is how we can compete more effectively on the global stage as we continue to create value for shareholders,” he said.

KenGen has in the last year commissioned 268MW — 248MW from geothermal and 20.4MW from wind — boosting its total installed capacity to 1,611MW as at June.

The company currently accounts for 70 percent of the national installed capacity.

Choge said KenGen had lined up a number of capital projects aimed at aggressively growing its generation capacity, mainly from the renewable geothermal sources, to be partly funded with the proceeds from the Rights Issue expected early next year.

He said Kenya had broken new ground in energy generation leading to reliable and competitively priced electricity through the use of the pioneering wellhead technology.

Choge also disclosed that the company had begun the process of setting up an industrial park at the geothermal fields in Olkaria to host energy intensive industries, bringing the power load center close to the source.

The park is one of the means of proactively narrowing the existing supply demand gap as the industries will be located at close proximity to the power plants, thereby utilizing energy cost effectively. It will also help catalyze the growth of industries in and around Olkaria.

Geothermal energy is significantly a cheaper and environmentally cleaner source of electricity. Technology in this area, which has been in use for the last three years, has enabled the company to produce over 60MW of additional geothermal power.

Output from the wellhead technology is expected to rise to 80MW in the first quarter of the year 2016, with plans to scale up the mobile wellhead power plants to 350MW by year 2025.

KenGen CEO, Albert Mugo, said KenGen had already delivered 375MW out of the 844MW contribution to the government’s plan to add over 5,000MW to the national grid.

Of these, geothermal accounts for the largest share with 330.6MW, 24MW of hydro and wind 20.4MW. Mugo said the company will require an estimated 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to deliver the remaining 469MW.

Mugo said part of the funds to realized from the Rights Issue to be launched next year will be realized from proceeds from the planned rights issue.

“We are financially restructuring our balance sheet to create room for more debt as well as pursue off-balance sheet financing to meet this capital need,” he said.

He said KenGen is set to embark on an ambitious growth strategy that will see it move to the top of the world in geothermal energy generation in the next five years after shareholders approved its capital restructuring plans.

“The country’s demand for power by year 2020 is expected to cross the 3,000MW mark. We do not want to miss future growth opportunities simply because the capital required now seems unaffordable,” Mugo told shareholders.

Geothermal energy is currently the dominant source of electricity accounting for about 50 percent of the national energy consumption requirements.

The commissioning of Olkaria 280MW recently has propelled Kenya to the eighth position in geothermal power production in the world and the top position in Africa. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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