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Ormat geothermal plant in Kenya, country’s largest private power producer

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 12 Mar 2019

OrPower 4, a subsidiary of Ormat Technologies is the second largest power producer in Kenya and the largest IPP generating and selling electricity in Kenya to Kenya Power with sales of USD 113 million in 2018 from its geothermal power plant at Olkaria.

Following reporting of the annual results for Kenya Power, details emerged of the proceeds of electricity sold by generators in Kenya to the company.

The numbers show that Ormat Technology’s subsidiary OrPower4 is the largest private power generator in the country. The company operates the Olkaria III geothermal power plant with nine units, which has now an installed capacity of 139 MW. This represents about 20% of Kenya’s total geothermal power generation capacity.

Kenya Power buys electricity in bulk from operators then selling it to the general public and businesses. Geothermal has become increasingly important to replace rather costly thermal power, also helping to cut down the cost of electricity to businesses and homes. With nearly half of the power supplied by geothermal, it is now the key source of baseload electricity in Kenya.

In 2018, Kenya Power purchased 1,185 GWh from OrPower 4, at proceeds of Sh 11.3 billion, around USD 113 million. The company is thereby the largest independent power producer in Kenya and second to the state-owned KenGen.

The 310 MW Turkana wind project could though soon replace OrPower from the second place, naturally depending on the capacity factor and electricity generated.

KenGen sold electricity for Sh 37 billion, or USD 367 million in 2018.

Source: Energy Siren