A $25 million geothermal development project seeking to harness the potential of the Menengai geothermal steam field for the generation of 150 MW of electricity annually.


In a country where the electrification rate is only 15 percent, the Government of Kenya has adopted ambitious plans to increase the national geothermal generation capacity from the current 198 MW to 1,700 MW by 2020 and 5,530 MW by 2031. The Menengai Geothermal Development Project, in line with Kenya’s green growth vision, will play a key role in achieving these objectives and meeting Kenya’s rapidly increasing demand for power.

The project aims to develop the Menengai geothermal steam field to produce enough steam for 150 MW of power, which will ultimately be generated by private sector Independent Power Producers. The project, anticipated to be completed by December 2016, will cost approximately $746 million and will enable a substantial increase in the provision of clean, reliable and affordable electricity to Kenyan households, businesses and industries. CIF is financing a $17.5 million grant and a $7.5 million loan through the SREP fund.

Objectives and Outputs:

Located within the African Rift Valley, about 180KM northwest of Nairobi, this project will enable electricity generation equivalent to the consumption needs of up to around 185,000 households. Approximately 26,000 of these homes are based in rural areas and 110,000 are small businesses. Additionally, 1,000 GWh will be newly available for businesses and industries. Direct project beneficiaries are located in the Bahati, Kiamaina, Wanyororo, Kabatini, Engoshura, Solai, Banita, Mashiaro, Menengai Hill, Valley Farm, Kiamunyi/Olive, Ol Rongai & Kwa Gitau communities as well as beneficiaries in neighboring communities who will benefit from the project’s connections to the national grid.

The project will help avoid close to 540,000 tons of CO₂ per annum. Access to modern energy will help improve health and education opportunities, particularly for women and girls. The project also intends to seek a gender equitable employment ratio of 30 percent women, which is quite high according to current standards in rural Kenya. The transfer of a potable water facility to the community/municipality will have a direct effect in the empowerment of women who normally collect water for domestic purposes.

This project summary is drawn from draft project proposals [such as the PAD, PID, SAR, and country investment plan] and may not contain the most up-to-date information.

AfDB Project Portal

Project Details
Project Document | Technical Annexes | Supplemental Note | Proposed Decision to Request for Revised Proposal | External Peer Review | Proposed Decision
Approved on November 21, 2011  (Approved Decision)
Approved amount(s):
USD 25.0 million

Comments and Responses:
Switzerland (October 19, 2011)
Switzerland (November 4, 2011)
Netherlands (November 7, 2011)
Netherlands (November 17, 2011)
Switzerland (December 1, 2011)

In the News: 

AfDB seeks geothermal development in East Africa (Capital FM, February 7, 2013)
AfDB to boost geothermal power development in East Africa (Engineering News, February 7, 2013)
AfDB seeks geothermal development in East Africa (Coast Week,February 8, 2013)
Kenya: AFDB to Replicate Kenya?s Geothermal Projects Across Africa (All Africa, February 9, 2013)
AfDB powering a climate-smart and greener continent (AfDB, May 23, 2013)
Inclusive and Green: Africa’s economic ‘makeover’ (Ecoseed, May 28, 2013)
Kenya looks to geothermal energy to boost power supply (Thomson Reuters Foundation, June 20, 2013) 
The Menengai Project Kenya: Pioneering Geothermal Development in East Africa (AfDB, September 19, 2013) 
Kenya's Energy Sector Investors to Get AfDB Soft Loans (AllAfrica, April 21, 2014)