Kenya signs $408m loan with Japan for 140 MW geothermal plant
Kenya and Japan on Wednesday signed a 46-billion yen ($408-million) loan agreement to build a 140 MW geothermal power plant that is expected to be operational within the next two years, the two governments said.
The plant, Olkaria V, will be built by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), which has said it expects to begin construction in July, with the plant arriving on the grid by the end of 2018.
The plant is part of KenGen’s plans to add 720 MW of electricity – most of it from geothermal sources – to the grid between this year and 2020, at a cost of just over $2-billion.
The Olkaria field is in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Kenya, which depends mostly on renewable energy such as geothermal and hydro power, plans to increase its power generating capacity to about 6,700 MW by 2017, from about 2,500 MW currently.
It also aims to cut electricity bills, tackling problems regularly blamed for holding back Kenyan business.
KenGen has a commitment to produce 844 MW for the grid under the plan, and says it had already added 374 MW. The 300 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power was expected to add 90 MW to the grid by the end of this year, and another 200 MW by the end of next year.