Kenya utility to upgrade 14.4-MW Tana

Kenya Electricity Generating Co. Ltd. (KenGen) says it will spend US$40 million to upgrade a hydropower plant to meet rising demand for power in the east African nation.

KenGen said June 15 it will increase capacity at the 14.4-MW Tana hydroelectric project to 20 MW with installation of four new generators in a new powerhouse. The utility requested pre-qualification of bidders in 2005 for construction of a replacement powerhouse at Tana containing four new Francis turbine-generators.

“The upgrading will be undertaken by Farab International of Iran,” KenGen said after a signing ceremony in Nairobi. “Construction will start in July and will be completed in June 2009.”

KenGen, which produces about 80 percent of Kenya’s total power capacity of 1,060 MW, said the Tana upgrade would benefit from the United Nations-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The CDM is a part of the Kyoto Protocol on fighting climate change and involves the transfer of capital and expertise from rich countries to developing nations to cut greenhouse gas output by investing in clean technologies.

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