President Mwai Kibaki presided over the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Olkaria IV. It will comprise of 2 plants with each plant having two units and generating 140Megawatts. Other plants on the complex will be generating 150Megawatts by mid-2014. The project is an extension of Olkaria I and II which already produce 115Megawatts is estimated to cost KES110 billion ( USD1.3 billion) .
The Olkaria IV project is being funded by the government of Kenya through KenGen in collaboration with other development partners. such as German development bank KFW, World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the French development agency. KEC (Kamani Engineering Corporation) of India, Toyota Tshusho of Japan, Hyundai consortium and Sinclair Knight Mertz of New Zealand will implement the project.
The USD1.3 billion power plants will increase the production of geothermal electricity to 35% from the current 10%. Currently, the country has a total electricity generation capacity of 1,500Megawatts, 200Megawatts of which is geothermal energy. Field studies have born the result that more steam is available in the area, and could generate a further 560 Megawatts of electricity. Once complete, the project will introduce further 25% of the current capacity into the National Grid.