US’ Ormat among firms chosen to build Kenya power project

MenengaiIn the Menengai field, Geothermal Development Company is drilling Phase I of their estimated 400MW project. (Image source: Geothermal Development Company)Ormat Technologies announced that it has been awarded its first well head power plant project by Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company (GDC) in the Menengai geothermal field in Kenya on a Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) basis

The other companies, apart from the US-based Ormat, picked by GDC include Quantum Power and local firm Sosian Energy.

The award is the result of an international tender for the design, manufacturing, procurement, construction and commissioning of the six-megawatt geothermal well head power plant.

Geothermal resources in Kenya, within the Rift Valley, have an estimated potential over 10,000MW spread across 14 prospective sites. GDC was created in 2008 for the specific purpose of accelerating the development of geothermal in Kenya. In the Menengai field, GDC is drilling Phase I of their estimated 400MW project, with a plan to start generating electricity with well head power plants as drilling progresses. The advantage of the concept to be implemented in the Menegai field is that revenues are generated early and in parallel to the continued development and testing of the geothermal field.

Following GDC’s successful drilling of the first well (MW-01) in Menengai, GDC selected Ormat to build the first geothermal power plant included in GDC’s geothermal development plan. GDC will supply the steam for conversion to electricity by Ormat’s power plant.

“This award both reinforces Ormat’s position as a leader in the geothermal industry, as well as demonstrates our strong commitment to the development of geothermal projects throughout the world using our technology to match specific local resource conditions.

“We are happy to be part of the future geothermal development in Kenya as we continue to increase our activities as owner of power plants in the area,” said Dita Bronicki, CEO of Ormat.

According to GDC, the three independent power producers (IPP) were selected from the 12 bids submitted last September at the close of the tendering process.
Ormat, chosen through its subsidiary OrPower 4, and the other power companies are to build 35MW steam power plant each under a build-own-operate model, starting this December.

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