Centum’s energy company seeks 70MW plant operator

An energy firm partly owned by Centum Investment is looking for a contractor to operate a 70-megawatt geothermal plant in Naivasha next year.
Akiira Geothermal chief executive Robert Bunyi on Thursday said the contracted firm will be in charge of plant servicing and maintenance to ensure optimal level performance.

The power project — based in Akiira Valley in Naivasha — is partly funded by US President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative for lighting up the continent.

“The contracted firm will take over once the plant is commissioned in December next year,” Mr Bunyi told the Business Daily.

“The firm must meet all provisions of the power purchase agreement (PPA) we have with Kenya Power.”

Under a 25-year PPA, Kenya Power will buy electricity from Akiira at Sh9.7 per unit (9.23 US cents), which is about half the current cost of thermal power.

The PPA requires a firm to construct, own, operate and maintain the project, with Kenya Power acting as the buyer of the output.

The Akiira notice in the dailies said the management contract will be for five year and subject to renewal.

The geothermal project received a $1 million (Sh105 million) grant last October from the US-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).