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Kenya goes big on geothermal

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9- Kenya will soon commence construction of its biggest geothermal power generating project, involving four 70MW plants at Olkaria, Naivasha.
This follows the signing of a contract between KenGen and a New Zealand company Sinclair Knight Merz for the implementation of the Sh98 billion geothermal power project which will also see substations constructed and transmission lines and other infrastructure laid.

“The consultancy will comprise technical design and preparation of the tender documents, pre-qualification of potential bidders, tender evaluation and contract negotiations, supervision of construction contracts and support during the warranty period,” said KenGen Managing Director Eddy Njoroge.

The project, comprising Olkaria I and Olkaria IV fields, is part of their fast-track projects which should be complete in 2013. It will partly be financed by KenGen, the government and a host of other development partners including the Japan International Corporation Agency, AFD and the World Bank.

Mr Njoroge said KenGen had finalised the procurement of two drilling rigs for the power plant. The move followed the rejection of an appeal by one of the unsuccessful bidders who had taken the matter to the Public Procurement Appeals Board and its parts of their sustained effort to expand geothermal power generation in the country.

The signing comes barely a month after the generating company awarded a Sh3.93 billion contract to an Austrian company, Andritz Hydro GmbhH for the installation of a 24MegaWatt third turbine generator at the Kindaruma Power Station which would boost the output of the station from 40 MW to 72 MW.
The Austrian company was also expected to set up and rehabilitate the two existing turbine generator units at the station in a project which is expected to be completed in 41 months.

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