Fuji Electric wins local geothermal contract


Fuji Electric, a Japanese electrical equipment company has won the contract to supply a complete geothermal power facility for the Olkaria 1 geothermal power plant. The company got the contract from Marubeni Corporation, a sōgō shōsha (Japanese general trading firm) which was awarded by state-owned power producer Kenya Electricity Generating Co Ltd (KenGen).

This will be the first geothermal power plant project that Fuji Electric will be undertaking in Africa after having completed 43 geothermal power generation units in Asia and Oceania (China, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines), 26 units in the Americas and 9 units in Europe (Turkey and Iceland) with a combined installed capacity of 3,132 MW.

The contract calls for Fuji Electric to construct a new 70MW power generation unit at Olkaria, Kenya’s first geothermal power station. The new unit will be the sixth unit as the power station, which started in 1981 already runs five turbines with a combined output of approximately 185MW. The unit will increase the output of the station which is already one of the largest geothermal power stations in the continent.

Construction funds for the project will be done through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and financing through the European Development Bank. In addition Fuji Electric will also assist with steam turbines and generators.

This will go hand in hand with one of Kenya’s vision 2030 agenda where the government set a development target to expand its geothermal power capacity to 5,000MW by 2030.With other countries in the East Africa region, such as Ethiopia and Djibouti, planning to develop new geothermal stations as well, the company took the opportunity to increase its supply records of geothermal steam turbine generators in Africa. As a result, Fuji Electric hopes to contribute towards the economic development and environmental conversation of the region.