NAIROBI- Kenya has started building a geothermal power plant to add 83 megawatts (MW) of capacity to the national grid, the state-owned power generation utility said on Tuesday.
Geothermal power is Kenya’s second largest source of electricity after hydroelectric power. The country has total installed power capacity of about 2,336 MW.
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President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the groundbreaking for the plant at Olkaria, about 112 km (62 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.
The plant, owned by state-run Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), is being built by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and is expected to be completed in 2021.
The government estimates demand for electricity will grow at 9 percent a year until 2021 and then ease back to 7 percent.
KenGen plans to add 1,745 megawatts worth of geothermal power by 2025, part of a government push to end generation from fossil fuels and also to power an industrialization drive aimed at providing jobs for its youthful population.
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