Globeleq commence works on its first geothermal power plant in Menengai

Globeleq commence works on its first geothermal power plant in Menengai

Globeleq, a British Independent Power Producer (IPP), is constructing a geothermal power plant in the Menengai area of the Rift Valley in western Kenya.

The power plant, with a capacity of 35MW, marks Globeleq’s first venture into geothermal energy and its second project in Kenya, following the Malindi solar plant in the coastal region.

The foundation stone for the Menengai geothermal power plant was recently laid, and the ceremony was attended by Kenyan Vice-President Rigathi Gachagua and the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott. This event symbolizes Globeleq’s commitment to Kenya and its aim to contribute significantly to the country’s energy transition, according to Mike Scholey, Globeleq’s Chairman and CEO.

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Scope of work

The construction of the steam power plant is being carried out by the Japanese company Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Fuji Electric, another Japanese company, has been enlisted to install the turbine and electrical generator. Once commissioned in 2025, Globeleq will operate and maintain the power plant. The steam required for electricity generation will be purchased from the Kenyan state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which has already drilled several production wells at the Menengai site.

The Menengai geothermal project has received support from both the Kenyan and British authorities. The British government announced an investment of nearly  US $4bn in Kenya, including a portion allocated to the Menengai project, during the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in 2022.

Furthermore, the project has received financial backing from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (TDB), and Finnfund, a Finnish investor. These institutions have granted loans totaling US $72M to Globeleq for the Menengai project. The electricity generated at the Menengai geothermal power plant will be sold to Kenya Power, a state-owned company, under a 25-year power purchase agreement.