A third unit at the Kindaruma dam has been commissioned and is expected to add 24 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.
The new unit, which will take a year to complete, and the refurbishment of other two will cost Sh4.6 billion.
“The additional unit will reduce reliance on thermal energy which is more expensive,” said KenGen managing director Eddy Njoroge during the commissioning last Friday.
Mr Njoroge said one of the two units with a capacity of 20 megawatts has been switched off for refurbishment that will take six months to complete.
The other unit will be upgraded. During the upgrade financed by the Government of Kenya and the German Development Bank generators will be replaced and the turbines inspected.
Andrithz Hydro of Austria won the contract. “These two units were constructed 45 years ago and have never been refurbished,” said Mr Njoroge.
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Kindaruma dam is Kenya’s oldest hydro-electric power generating plant. After the works, the units will produce 24 megawatts each, raising the combined output from Kindaruma dam from 40 megawatts to 72 megawatts.
KenGen hopes to have 3,000 megawatts onstream by 2018 from a diversified mix of hydro, geothermal and wind.
The country has a peak electricity demand of 1,300 megawatts.