Kenyan Govt Floats Bids for "Largest" Geothermal Project in Africa

Bids for what could become Africa’s largest geothermal project have been floated by the Geothermal Development Company, and construction of the first phase of four is set to begin January 2012.

The first phase at Bogoria-Silale Geothermal Complex situated in Baringo, Bogoria, Paka, Chepchuk, Korosi and Silale areas will cost about Sh291 billion to complete and will greatly boost generation of green energy and help reduce escalating electricity costs in the country.

Eight power plants

“With a potential of more than 3,000MW, Bogoria-Silale will open up the northern frontiers of the country,” said Mr John Lagat, Geothermal Development Company’s (GDC) chief geologist.

“The region is ready to give green power and cut down the cost of electricity in the country,” he added.

In the first phase, GDC will partner with investors from the energy sector to construct eight power plants, each with a capacity of producing 100MW totalling 800MW by 2017.

Drilling of the initial 200 wells at the site will start January 2012.

Investors wishing to put their cash in the project will be required to raise at least $400 million for the construction of a single 100MW power plant.

They will be required to finance construction, operate and maintain the power plants while GDC will undertake resource development and management development of civil infrastructure, exploration, drilling among other technical aspects.

Only credible investors with a sound financial base should submit their bids, which will be short listed in September and opened in December this year, Mr Paul Ngugi, GDC manager in charge of corporate planning and strategy said.

According to Kenya’s economic blue print, the country must generate 15,000MW in the next 20 years, if it is to realise its 2030 Vision.

The geothermal sector is projected to provide more than 5,000MW.

At the moment, electricity generation in the country stands at 1,350MW, a situation that has led to frequent power black outs due to rising demand.