Kenya Launches World’s Biggest Geothermal Power Plant

Jibril Adan*   [caption id="attachment_13158" align="alignleft" width="600"]President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto unwind a turbine valve during the official Commissioning of the 140 Mega Watt Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant, in Naivasha Sub-county. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto unwind a turbine valve during the official Commissioning of the 140 Mega Watt Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant, in Naivasha Sub-county.[/caption] Kenya has set a world record with the commissioning of the largest single geothermal power plant generating 140MW that will reduce the cost of electricity in the country by 30 percent, officials said Saturday. President Uhuru Kenyatta today commissioned the Olkaria IV power plant and oversaw the uploading of the massive power into the national electricity grid. The historic event now opens the path for a reduction in the cost of production of goods which will ultimately lead to a lower cost of living. The increased quantity of geothermal power will lead to lesser dependence on electricity produced using heavy fuel generators in many parts of the country. The reduced use of heavy fuel in generating electricity will reduce the cost of power to consumers by 30 percent in the next month, meaning that a household that used to pay Sh1000 monthly will in the next month start paying Sh700. The cost of essential goods like maize flour, sugar and building materials like cement will also go down. “Take my word that the cost of goods will come down and this will lead to a lowercost of living for all Kenyans,” said President Kenyatta when he spoke at a function after the launch of the power plant. The Olkaria IV is now the world’s biggest geothermal power plant surpassing the previous record holder by 30MW. President Kenyatta will commission another geothermal power plant in December which will also have the capacity to produce another 140MW. When the new plant is opened at the end of the year, the cost of power is expected to go down by 50 percent. “We will not achieve the transformation we want if we do not increase the quantity of power, reduce its cost and ensure its regular supply,” said the President. The President said the lower cost of power production will be passed on to consumers because industries will not take the savings from lower cost of power and keep it as profit for themselves. He said the generation of cheap and reliable power will free Kenyans economically and help the country achieve its goals in education, health and wealth creation. “You cannot fight poverty when you do not have power to run an economy with industries to create jobs and create wealth,” said President Kenyatta. Cheaper and reliable electricity will also attract investors to Kenya and the Government has already demarcated three industrial zones near Olkaria. Those who will set up industries within the demarcated zones will benefit from cheaper power tariffs because they will get direct supplies from Olkaria. “The industrial park that will be established here will demonstrate the actuality of the connection between geothermal power and industrialisation,” said the President. President Kenyatta said the Olkaria IV project was testimony of what Kenya can achieve, adding that the project was a milestone in Kenya’s journey to self-sufficiency, competitiveness and prosperity. “Our developmental momentum is now unstoppable. The successful completion of an energy infrastructure project of this magnitude is a grand achievement in its own right,” the President said. He said the Government will remain focused on its transformative agenda and will not be distracted by sideshows. “Let us dream bigger, see farther and do more always remembering that we can do more together, than each of us alone,” he said. Deputy President William Ruto said the Jubilee Government was making strides in delivering what it promised Kenyans. He said work on the Standard Gauge Railway has already began and the constructionof 2,000 kilometres of road will start soon. He said 16,000 primary schools have been connected with electricity and the remaining 5,000 schools will be connected by April next year. “What you are seeing is not a story, it is facts that are happening,” said the Deputy President. The DP said the Jubilee manifesto was never a document meant only to mobilise voters but it was document that the ruling parties believe in. The President and his deputy held a panel session after the launch of the power plant during which they answered question from those who attended the function as well as those sent through the internet. *Source chimpreports]]>

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