Japan Funds Upgrade of Olkaria Geothermal Facility in Kenya

The Kenyan National Treasury on Mar. 16 secured financing from Japan to upgrade the Olkaria 1 geothermal plant in Naivasha, Kenya.

Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, during a signing ceremony for the financing agreement said that the funding would be used to refurbish the plant, increasing the current capacity of 45 MW to about 50.7 MW, according to a video Rotich shared on Twitter.

The total loan agreement is for Sh9.53 billion (US$94 million), and it will help with the upgrades of Olkaria I Units 1, 2 and 3. Olkaria I was originally built in 1981.

“Besides construction of the Olkaria V geothermal plant, the rehabilitation of Olkaria I Units 1, 2 and 3 power plant is part of KenGen’s ambitious green energy development agenda aimed at delivering 721 MW of renewable energy by year 2020,” KenGen GEO Rebecca Miano said in a statement.

According to the National Treasury, Japan has provided Kenya with financial and technical support amounting to about Sh522.5 billion (US$5 billion) since 1964, making Japan one Kenya’s major bilateral partners.

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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