Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Charles Keter and Permanent Secretary for Energy, Eng. Joseph Njoroge honored the Geothermal Development Company in Menengai with a visit to purposely inspect on its development on their various projects.
Hon. Keter addressed the stakeholders at the Menengai campsite stating that the development of the reliability and affordability of clean energy is core in the Government’s agenda to ensure the operational costs are cut down to improve efficiency. He further stated that the introduction of the 280MW last year led to the reduction of cost of power by about 25-30% and that there is enough steam at the Menengai Crater to add some 105 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid.
The visit incorporated the inspection of; the Simba 2 drilling rig on well 13 at the Menengai drilling site, a discharging well number 20 which is currently undergoing testing, the Menengai substation expected to be completed in 2weeks time and the commissioning of the GDC In-house Catering Unit by the CS for the drilling staff, to cut down on cost and create employment opportunities.
Hon. Keter emphasizes that the Government has invested KShs 40 billion in geothermal development and infrastructure and that the investment needs to generate revenue. He therefore encourages the private sector involvement in power development and urges all stakeholders to stick to their timelines and give their best to ensure all projects are completed within the stipulated timeframes for the company to realize the full potential of green power generation.
GDC has drilled 35wells with a potential capacity of 137MW at the well head. Drilling is ongoing to provide additional steam and expand the proven resource area. Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) has already set up a 132kV substation that will generate 105 MW of power from the wells for the national grid. The generating company is also constructing the 7km Menengai-Soilo line which will evacuate power from the 150MW project. The transmission line is 95% complete.
“Geothermal power has done so much for the economy and if we can generate more steam into the system, we can drive the power cost down. We will therefore be able to realize industrialization, attract more foreign direct investment and become a more industrialized nation as part of vision 2030 of making Kenya a middle-class economy.” Said Eng. Joseph Njoroge, PS for Energy.