The plant, which is already generating 115 Megawatts (MW) of power for supply to the national grid, was constructed through a local infrastructure bond floated by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) in 2009.
Kenya’s total installed electricity capacity stands at 1,500MW against a peak demand of 1,300MW, with 30 percent of the country’s population connected to electricity supply.
The president added that the Vision 2030 economic blueprint is intended to grow the country’s electricity generation capacity to 21,000MW in the next 17 years, to provide for the projected peak demand of 17,000 MW and connect more than 90 percent of the population to the national grid.
The country is looking to diversify the electricity generation mix with a sharp focus on green energy sources such as solar, geothermal and wind power.
“We are putting considerable efforts in the development of these green sources of energy because they are relatively much cheaper in the long run and therefore more affordable than oil based thermal generation,” the president explained during the plant commissioning.
To this end, Kibaki recently launched the construction of the 280MW geothermal project at Olkaria geothermal field which is scheduled for commercial operation by September 2014.
KenGen has set to raise its total generation capacity to 3,000MW by the year 2018; this is in addition to another 2,000MW being implemented by independent power producers.