Geothermal Power Plants in Africa
Kapisya
Location: Zambia
Operator: Zesco Ltd
Configuration: 2 X 100 kW
Operation: 1987
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: DAL SpA
Quick facts: The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) financed this $2mn installation in Nsumbu National Park near Lake Tanganyika in Northern Province. At the time of installation, the project was under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and it was handed over to Zesco in 2001. Although, the power plant was installed, it was never fully commissioned since the required electrical connections were not completed. As part of this pilot project, 15 shallow exploratory and production wells were drilled and submersible pumps were installed in four of them. In 2004, KenGen was retained to examine the feasibility of rehabilitating, recommissioning and possibly increasing the capacity of the Kapisya installation. Total generating potential in the immediate area is thought to be about 2 MW.

Photograph courtesy of KenGen
Posted 5 Apr 2008

Olkaria-I
Location: Kenya
Operator: KenGen
Configuration: 3 X 15 MW
Operation: 1981-1985
T/G supplier: MHI, Melco
EPC: Scott Wilson Piesold
Quick facts: Olkaria-I was the first geothermal power station in Africa. A total of 33 wells were drilled, of which 31 were connected to the steam gathering system with 26 currently in production. The rest have become non-commercial producers due to decline in output over time and some of these are earmarked to serve as re-injection wells. The turbines are direct condensing 4-stage single-flow machines running with an inlet steam pressure of 5 bars at a temperature of 152C and steam consumption of 9.2 t/h/MW. The plant has had an average availability factor of 98% since commissioning. Oklaria I is connected to the national grid via a 132kV transmission line.

Photograph courtesy of KenGen
Posted 5 Apr 2008

Olkaria-II
Location: Kenya
Operator: KenGen
Configuration: 2 X 32 MW
Operation: 2003
T/G supplier: MHI, Melco
EPC: Sinclair Knight Merz, H Young
Quick facts: Olkaria-II is in the northeastern sector of the Olkaria geothermal field. Between 1985 and 1993, 32 wells were drilled, but plant construction was delayed until the year 2000 when funds became available. Twenty of the wells are currently producing with the rest used for re-injection or reservoir monitoring while a few are non-operating. Construction was co-financed by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, KfW, and KenGen. The single-flash turbines are 6-flow, single-flow condensing machines with direct contact spray jet condensers. Steam consumption is 7.5 t/h/MW. Output is transmitted via a 220kV double-circuit line to Nairobi and the plant is also connected to Olkaria-I by a 132kV line.

Photograph courtesy of KenGen
Posted 5 Apr 2008

Olkaria-III
Location: Kenya
Operator: KenGen
Configuration: 2 X 5.4 MW, 1 X 3.75 MW, 3 X 11.67 MW ORC
Operation: 2000-2009
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: Ormat
Quick facts: Power shortages resulted in an acceleration of construction of new generators at the Olkaria III site. These were built on an IPP basis under terms of a power purchase contract signed in Nov 1998. The first phase cost about $17mn and commissioned in Aug 2000. A 35-MW extension was completed in 2009 using a Ksh3.2bn EIB loan made in May 2005. Ormat is operating the plant under a 20yr arrangement.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Re-posted 26 Mar 2011

Olkaria Wellhead 01
Location: Kenya
Operator: KenGen
Configuration: 1 X 5-MW
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: Maxwatt, TDPS
EPC: Green Energy Group AS
Quick facts: In 2009, KenGen began working on a program to expand production at Olkaria with high-temperature, well-head power stations. In Dec 2009, GEG was awarded a contract for a 5-MW wellhead pilot plant and this completed in the spring of 2012. The 18mo pilot run ended when the plant was handed over on 22 Nov 2013.

Photograph by Lydur Skúlason and courtesy of Green Energy Group AS
Posted 14 Sep 2014

Oserian
Location: Kenya
Operator: Oserian Farm
Configuration: 2.5-MW ORC
Operation: 2004
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: Ormat
Quick facts: This geothermal plant near Hell's Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha makes operation of a 50ha rose-growing complex self-sufficient for electricity. Each 2ha greenhouse uses geothermal steam to control humidity and temperature while carbon dioxide emitted from the same wells makes for higher yields. Kenya supplies about 30% of Europe’s cut flowers.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Re-posted 26 Mar 2011

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 14-Sep-2014

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