KENYA: CDC invests in Quantum and relaunches the Menengai II geothermal project

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KENYA: CDC invests in Quantum and relaunches the Menengai II geothermal project© Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

Financed by CDC Group, the British company Globeleq becomes majority shareholder in Quantum Power East Africa GT Menengai (QPEA). The company is one of three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) developing the 105 MWe Menengai geothermal project.

This is a transaction that will certainly advance the Menengai II geothermal project. Its developer, Quantum Power East Africa GT Menengai (QPEA) has just been partially acquired by Globeleq, a British company 70% owned by CDC Group. This investment is good news for Quantum Power, which has received the release from the Kenyan government since 2013 to supply 35 MWe from the Menengai II geothermal power plant.

But since then, its project has been at a standstill. While the company did not wish to communicate on the delay in the development of this concession, Erastus Mbui Mwenda, the commissioner of Nakuru County, said in 2019 that the delay was due to difficulties in raising funds. The Menengai geothermal project is expected to produce 105 MWe. It is being developed simultaneously in several phases by three independent power producers (IPPs).

The IPPs will purchase steam for the geothermal plants from the Kenyan state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which already has wells at the project site in Nakuru County in the west of the country. In addition to Quantum Power East Africa, the Menengai I geothermal project is being developed by Orpower Twenty-Two. The Menengai III geothermal power plant is being built by Sosian Energy.

These IPPs will sell their output to Kenya Power (KPLC) under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The most advanced project to date is Menengai III. Its developer Sosian Energy has chosen the Chinese company Kaishan Renewable Energy Development, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Kaishan Compressor, to build its geothermal power plant. Quantum Power East Africa GT Menengai should follow suit with Globeleq’s investment.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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