Work has begun on an enormous $1.3bn geothermal project in Kenya. The Olkaria IV Geothermal Plant is due for completion in 2014 and is part of a major initiative to increase the percentage of geothermal energy contribution in Kenya from 13% to 50% by 2018.
Kenya’s current main source of power is hydropower however this is liable to fluctuation from the weather and therefore contracts were signed back in November for the Olkaria IV Geothermal Plant which is to be built by a consortium of Japanese firm Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the South Korean Hyundai Engineering and Construction.
President Mwai Kibaki attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the pair of plants, each of which will have two units generating 140MW. Work technically began some time ago with the drilling of steam wells with generators expected to create power during construction of the plants.