, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Kenya will save about Sh25 billion annually from injecting the 280 Megawatts (MW) of Olkaria geothermal power to the national grid.
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Chief Executive Officer Albert Mugo says the country will save Sh2.2 billion a month by displacing the expensive thermal electricity generators that use costly fossil fuels in favour of the cheaper electricity from geothermal.
Mugo says the cost of electricity has reduced marginally since the addition to the national grid of about 280 Megawatts geothermal power as the fuel cost charge has reduced by 65 percent.
“The fuel cost charge, the single major cost item on the power bills has dropped nearly threefold to Sh2.57 per kwh in February down from Sh7.22 per kwh in August last year when the first unit of the 280MW project started injecting to the national grid,” he said.
He said plans for a Rights Issue are also on course as the company waits for necessary approval from the government that owns 70 percent of the company.
“We are hoping that we will still raise the funds before the end of the current financial year, “he added.
The Olkaria 280MW project comprises the 140MW Olkaria 1V and the Olkaria 1 units 4 and 5 each with a capacity of 70MW.
Currently the company is injecting 1575 MW to the national grid with geothermal surpassing hydro as the main source of electricity for the fourth month in a row owing to failed rains.
Geothermal accounts for 51 percent of the national generation mix followed by hydro at 36 percent owing to the failed rains that led to poor inflows of water to the generation of dams in recent months.
On Thursday, KenGen will commission the 140MW Olkaria 1 power plant that marks the last phase of 280MW Olkaria geothermal power.
President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as Rwanda President Paul Kagame are due to preside over the event among other Heads of State.