Toshiba to Modernize Kenya’s Oldest Geothermal Plant

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation [Toshiba ESS] recently announced an order from SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. to revamp Units 1 through 3 of the Olkaria I geothermal power plant in Kenya, the country’s oldest of its kind. Since 1981, the plant, owned by Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC [KenGen], has been serving commercial purposes.

However, due to aging, Units 1 through 3 require renovation. Toshiba ESS’s steam turbines and generators have been chosen for this task, aiming to increase the power output of each unit from 15 MW to 21 MW, allowing for higher efficiency with less steam consumption. This decision was based on KenGen’s favorable evaluation of the proposed enhancements, leading to the contract’s adoption.

Steam and geothermal turbine generators – Image courtesy of Toshiba

Kenya’s growing economy has led to an increased demand for electricity. In response, the government has outlined Vision 2030, a development plan emphasizing the expansion of electricity generation from renewable sources, with a goal of achieving 100% green energy by 2030. Numerous new geothermal power plants are slated for construction in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley region, harnessing the area’s substantial 9GW geothermal potential.

Toshiba ESS and KenGen forged a memorandum of understanding [MOU] in 2022, signaling their intention to collaborate on Operation and Maintenance [O&M] services. This partnership will leverage the expertise and networks of both entities to provide O&M services for geothermal power plants, not only in Kenya but also in other East African nations. Toshiba ESS boasts a track record of successful delivery of geothermal power generation systems in Kenya and neighboring countries. Moreover, the company has actively promoted geothermal power generation by entering into MOUs with various partners in East Africa.

Shinya Fujitsuka, Director and Vice President of Toshiba ESS’s Power Systems Division, expressed satisfaction in contributing to Kenya’s energy stability through equipment and services provision. He highlighted Toshiba ESS’s commitment to meeting customer needs by offering a range of geothermal steam turbines and generators, with capacities spanning from 1 MW to 200 MW. Fujitsuka emphasized Toshiba ESS’s dedication to advancing clean energy solutions, both domestically and internationally, in pursuit of a sustainable, carbon-neutral society.

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