Kenya: KenGen signs Toshiba to operate and maintain its goethermal plants

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  • KenGen and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU), paving the way for a new partnership
  • The two parties said the MoU focuses on an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services partnership for geothermal power plants in developing countries, including East African countries
  • This will be done through a combination of KenGen and Toshiba ESS’s know-how and networks. The MoU was signed during TICAD 8 held in Tunisia on August 27 and 28

Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU), paving the way for a new partnership.

On August 31, 2022, the two parties said the MoU focuses on an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services partnership for geothermal power plants in developing countries, including East African countries.

This will be done through a combination of KenGen and Toshiba ESS’s know-how and networks. The MoU was signed during TICAD 8 held in Tunisia on August 27 and 28.

KenGen produces about 60 per cent of the electricity installed in the country, with 86  per cent generated from renewable energy, such as hydro power, wind power, and geothermal power.

KenGen has a 799 MW generation capacity for geothermal power, including the Olkaria Geothermal Power Plants, Kenya’s largest geothermal power complex. Under this MOU, KenGen will contribute to the development of geothermal power plants in East African countries and become “The point of expert reference” in Africa.

KenGen Managing Director & CEO Rebecca Miano said that geothermal energy provides a sustainable power supply.

“It is a resource we have in abundance in Kenya, an advantage that has enabled us to build a considerable wealth of expertise in its exploration and development. This we have done for more than 50 years,” she said.

Toshiba ESS has delivered 60 geothermal power generation sets with a total capacity of about 3,790 MW all over the world, including Africa. It also supplied 4 sets of 70 MW steam turbines and generators for KenGen’s Olkaria I and IV Geothermal Power Plants.

“I’m delighted to announce this cooperation with KenGen, Toshiba ESS has collaborated in the development of geothermal power generation and human resources in Uganda, Malawi, and other East African countries. Through this collaboration, I’m convinced that we can contribute to supplying clean and safe energy in the regions with KenGen,” said Toshiba ESS Business Development Executive Toyoaki Fujita.

There is an ongoing survey to identify geothermal resources in the Great Rift Valley, a tectonic plate boundary running from north to south with immense geothermal potential. Both companies are delighted to cooperate in this opportunity and plan further business expansion.

Kenya: KenGen adds another 86MW into the national grid

In a related story, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned KenGen’s Olkaria I Additional Unit (AU) 6 Geothermal Power Plant, injecting an additional 86MW into the national grid. The move by Kenyatta further advances Kenya’s green energy leadership.

In July 2022, KenGen said the power plant propelled its total installed energy capacity to 1,904MW, while its geothermal capacity now stands at 799MW.

The company added that the commissioning of the plant further demonstrated the government’s effort to build a greener national energy pool from clean energy sources.

President Kenya also commissioned another 172MW Olkaria V geothermal Power project earlier developed by KenGen, with construction being completed in 2019.

Speaking when he presided over the official ceremony at Olkaria, Kenyatta commended the KenGen team and stakeholders involved in undertaking the project, which was implemented during the COVID-19 peak periods in 2020 and 2021.

The President noted that the commissioning of the power plants was aligned with the Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) in support of the Government’s Big Four Agenda.

“This is indeed a great milestone for not only KenGen but the rest of Kenyans as far as developing clean energy is concerned. Clean and safe energy is increasingly becoming vital in energy development. Through this approach, we shall attain universal access to electricity in our nation and meet key energy needs,” said the President.

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Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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