Kenya Electricity Generating firm (KenGen) has reiterated that Multi-billion Olkaria V project which is currently under construction will be ready to inject another 165MW to the national grid by June 2019 as earlier projected.
The project which will have cost a total of $450 Million by the end is said to be 75 per cent complete and trial testing is expected to start towards the end of December this year.
According to KenGen Business Development Director Moses Wekesa, they will be working towards availing steam to the power plant contractor by January next year.
‘’From January onward we will be going to a very delicate period of equipment testing and meeting contracted parameter’’ he said.
KenGen Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Miano says currently power generated through Geothermal stands at 553MW with the 165 expected to make it 699MW with more investments set to be made in the future.
‘’We have plans to undertake Olkaria VI, after that Olkaria VII, so yes we have a plan in accordance with our strategies to implement more Geothermal plant.’’ She said.
Adding that that they have also incorporated new technologies for drilling, ‘’We are now using better drill bits, thus making it more efficient and faster. We have also changed the drilling to make it directional, we have better equipment and all that makes it more efficient in terms of drilling.’’
Moreover through a 25 years power purchase agreement Kenya Power will be expected to pay $7.50 cents per kilowatt-hour and equivalent of Sh750.
KenGen is also be looking to minimize it operation and maintenance cost through a partnership which will see the company receive a grant through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The completion of the project is expected to ease the cost burden on power consumers. This comes at a crucial time despite slow movement of equipment due to the congestion at the ports which is said to have impacted part of the program especially on procurement.