KenGen responded to reports that it had switched off parts of the Olkaria Geothermal plant so as to give way to thermal independent power producers to enjoy profits from expensive electricity.
“All our geothermal power stations in Olkaria are up and running, generating clean energy to the grid. Photo: Olkaria I AU 4,5, & 6 now the largest of its kind in the world at 234MW”, KenGen wrote.
However, the whistleblower rejected the explanation, sending KenGen media team into a public relations quagmire.
“I got contacted by KenGen over the post I did yesterday. Regarding the the 83 MW Olkaria I Unit 6 which is under construction I have been informed that the construction is now complete and tests are going on. Target date for commercial operation is June 2022. Regarding the issue I raised about Olkaria 1 Unit IV and V having been idle in January and February I am yet to get a clear explanation“, ephraim njega fans wrote on Twitter.
He insisted that evidence at EPRA and KNBS is enough to absolve him from blame.
“…They had insisted that all the geothermal power plants are operational. I have confronted them with evidence from EPRA and KNBS”, he added.
He says that his tweets are often based on research and that according to the two state agencies the data showed parts of Olkaria was not operational.
“EPRA publishes monthly data about the amount of power produced in Olkaria IV and Olkaria 1 Unit IV & V power plants. This is because these plants use steam from GDC but they are owned and operated by KenGen. KenGen pays GDC for this steam and this charge is passed on to power users through the Fuel Cost Charge. According to EPRA data published in the Kenya Gazette, the Olkaria 1 Unit IV and V produced 60,754,334 units in December”.
The twitter user continued, “In January it produced 425 units and in February it produced just 6 units. How does a power plant move from producing 60 million units to 6 units? Normal maintenance would take not more than 2 weeks. But here we are talking of 2 months of downtime for a major power plant. The power plant has installed capacity of 150 MW. A similar plant owned by OrPower an IPP produced 1.08 Billion units in 2020. The production of geothermal power has declined from 465 million units in January 2021 to 310 million units in January 2022; a 33% decline. At the same time, production of thermal/diesel power has risen from 75 million units in January 2021 to 206 million units in January 2022; a 176% increase. Given how expensive thermal power is to consumers the implications are dire in view of rising fuel prices”
He insists that KenGen must come out clearly about the issue that was raised.
“We must get answers for this worrying situation. The cost of everything is going up. We can’t afford higher power costs especially when there is no justification for such”, ephraim Njega fans.
The president forced them to cut power pricing. Since KenGen is public, it had to reduce its production to allow private companies to sell more to kplc. It's cartel world
— sleeping raila (@isaiahmngl) March 30, 2022