KenGen yesterday received the upgraded Kindaruma Unit II from the project contractors.
Speaking during the issuing of a takeover certificate, KenGen MD Eddy Njoroge said the upgrade is part of a major refurbishment of the Kindaruma plant that will see it's capacity raised by 80 per cent from 40MW to 72MW.
Njoroge said the process began with the installation of a third unit which was commissioned in June 2012.
With Unit 2 now upgraded, which is the last unit to be rehabilitated, Unit 1 was handed over to the contractors and the project shall take 6 months. The CEO said the new unit will increase the amount of power generated from the more affordable hydro generation.
"We are able to generate more power using same or similar amounts of water as in the past, therefore greater effficiency in utilizing resoureces with the new machines", said njoroge further adding that the 3rd unit also offers more flexibility in maintenance.
Njoroge said he was happy the upgraded of the second unit has come onstream at a time KenGen was enjoying abundant water levels in all its hydro generating dams along the seven fork cascade.
"We have been blessed with sufficient rain levels in the short rains period leading to the end of this year. We have actually had limited spilling in some of the dams. This is expected to lead to cheaper power bills'" added Njoroge.
The upgraded unit is generating 24MW of power up from 20MW previously.
The project contractors were Andritz Hydro from Austria handling the Electrical and Mechanical works, while the civil works were undertaken by Farab Company.
The entire Kindaruma rehabilitation will cost a total of Ksh. 5.4 billion which has been financed by KfW and KenGen.
At the end all the 3 units will be each generating 24MW to make a total of 72MW.
The Kindaruma plant was commissioned in 1968 with 2 units generating a total of 40MW.
The plant's civil works however had provisions for a third unit, but this was not installed due to the low power demands then.
KenGen has launched an aggressive strategy to grow power supply in the country ahead of annual demand estimated at eight percent per annum.