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Tokyo firm to put up geothermal plant

Rebecca Miano
KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Japanese firm Marubeni has won the tender to construct KenGen’s new 83MW geothermal power plant in Naivasha for an undisclosed fee.

The firm said it will partner with Fuji Electric Co Ltd Japan in the project expected to be completed in 2021.

KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano said the project was an extension of the existing Olkaria I units 4 & 5 geothermal power.

“Marubeni Corporation has been awarded a full turn-key engineering, procurement and construction contract from Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited in relation to the construction of a class geothermal power plant in the Olkaria area of Nakuru County,” said the conglomerate, which has offices in Nairobi.

The plant set to be the sixth power unit of the Olkaria 1 geothermal complex is being financed mainly through a loan provided by Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank (EIB).

Marubeni said the project will be its first in Africa. The Japanese firm, which is also involved in the wind, solar, hydropower and biomass sectors, has so far installed more than 900MW of geothermal power capacity. In March this year, another Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corporation bagged the tender to construct KenGen’s 140MW Olkaria V geothermal power plant in Naivasha.

Mitsubishi Corporation won the $555 million (Sh57.4 billion) project expected to be completed in 2019. It will work in a three-company consortium with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and local firm H Young & Co.

The plant is being financed mainly through a loan of ¥45.7 billion (Sh40 billion) provided by the JICA. KenGen has also directed some of the proceeds of its Sh26.5 billion rights issue towards the project.

Toyota Tsusho and KenGen plan feasibility studies for geothermal installations beyond Olkaria.