KENYA: Japan’s Toyota wins Menengai geothermal power plant contract

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KENYA: Japan's Toyota wins Menengai geothermal power plant contract © GDC

British independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq has awarded Toyota Tsusho Corporation the contract to build the Menengai geothermal power plant in Kenya. The Japanese company will start construction in the first quarter of 2023.

News on the Menengai geothermal project in Kenya. The Japanese company Toyota Tsusho Corporation has been appointed to execute the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the geothermal power plant in western Kenya. The project, which aims to have an installed capacity of 35 MWe, is being developed by Globeleq, an independent power producer (IPP) based in London, UK.

The steam plant, which will require an investment of $108 million to build, is supported by both the Kenyan and British authorities. On the sidelines of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) a few months ago in Egypt, the British government announced an investment of nearly $4 billion in Kenya, part of which will be spent at Menengai in Nakuru, in the Rift Valley.

Commercial operation in 2025

The Menengai geothermal project is also supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (TDB) and Finnfund, a Finnish investor. These financial institutions have provided loans totalling $72 million to Globeleq. IPP plans to start work on its steam plant in the first quarter of 2023.

Read also- KENYA: Unit 6 of the Olkaria I geothermal power plant is operational

For this project, Toyota Tsusho has contracted the services of its compatriot Fuji Electric, which also equipped the new unit at the Olkaria I geothermal power plant for Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen). Fuji will install the steam turbine and generator at the Menengai plant.

Globeleq, which will operate and maintain the plant once it is commissioned in 2025, will purchase the steam from Kenya’s state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which has already drilled several production wells at the project site. The geothermal plant will feed its output (35 MWe) into the national electricity grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power, the state-owned company that transmits and distributes electricity in Kenya.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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