by Kevin Davids
The government of Kenya has announced plans to develop an industrial park powered by geothermal energy in Nakuru County Kenya. Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Board Chairman John Njiraini revealed the plans and said the company has entered into a joint venture with Nakuru County Government for the development.
The development will be located near Menengai where GDC has been drilling extensively with construction of three privately funded geothermal power plants to kick off soon. According to Mr. Njiraini, the industrial park will offer cheap geothermal power and steam.
“There is so much that geothermal energy can offer to different investors especially those who require heavy energy for production. In geothermal, the concept of direct use is gaining traction and we have installed the first cereals dryer of its kind in Africa that uses heat from geothermal fluids. That is the kind of innovative thinking we want to expand into commercial scale so that investors can benefit more from geothermal power,” said the company MD Johnson ole Nchoe.
Nakuru County, is home to Africa’s largest geothermal power plants located at Olkaria in Naivasha and Menengai in the outskirts of Nakuru town. The county is banking on geothermal energy to power industrial reforms, restore the region’s lost glory and boost the national government’s realisation of the Big Four agenda.
“Due to ongoing geothermal production, we are anticipating a boom in the geothermal industry in the county which will in turn open some of the most exciting investment opportunities for investors. Various investors have shown interest in putting up industries in the county because of affordable power. We want geothermal energy to support the economic fortunes of Nakuru,” said Mr Lee Kinyanjui, Nakuru County Governor.