Globeleq starts work on its first geothermal power plant in Menengai

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The exploitation of geothermal resources at the Menengai site is well under way. The British Independent Power Producer (IPP) has just laid the foundation stone for its geothermal power station in the Rift Valley, in Nakuru County, western Kenya. The ceremony was attended by Kenyan Vice-President Rigathi Gachagua and the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott.

“This will be Globeleq’s first ever geothermal plant and our second project in Kenya along with our Malindi solar plant in the coastal region. Today’s event is a symbol of Globeleq’s commitment to Kenya and our desire to play a leading role in the country’s energy transition,” said Mike Scholey, Globeleq’s Chairman and CEO.

Commissioning in 2025

Technically, the steam power plant is being built by the Japanese company Toyota Tsusho Corporation, which has enlisted the services of its compatriot Fuji Electric for the installation of the turbine and the electrical generator. Globeleq, which will operate and maintain the plant once it is commissioned in 2025, will purchase the steam from the Kenyan state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which has already drilled several production wells at the Menengai site.

The steam plant, which will require an investment of $108 million to build, has the backing of both the Kenyan and British authorities. On the sidelines of the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in 2022, the British government announced an investment of almost $4 billion in Kenya, including part of the Menengai project.

The Menengai geothermal project is also supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (TDB) and Finnfund, a Finnish investor. These financial institutions have granted loans totalling $72 million to Globeleq. The electricity produced at Menengai will be sold for 25 years to the state-owned company Kenya Power.

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