October 12, 2018 / 1:37 PM / 8 months ago

Kenya's KenGen says new geothermal plant nearly ready

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) workers walk past the pylons of high-tension electricity power lines at the Olkaria II Geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, Kenya February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - KenGen’s new 165.4-megawatt (MW) capacity plant powered by geothermal steam is three quarters complete and on schedule for commissioning next July, Kenya’s main electricity producer said on Friday.

Geothermal steam, hot underground steam found in the Rift Valley which is used to drive turbines for electricity production, is the second biggest source of Kenya’s annual power generation of 2,336 MW, accounting for 26.84 percent of the total.

Construction of the Olkaria V plant started last year, with contractors including Mitsubishi Corporation.

“Two generator units, each weighing 130 metric tonnes, departed the Port of Mombasa yesterday, signalling the beginning of the final process towards the completion of the plant,” the company said in a statement.

KenGen has an installed capacity of 1,631 MW and it plans to add an additional 720 MW by 2020 to cater for growing electricity demand, it said.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Mark Potter

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