By Claire Wanja
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has named the Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) as the winner of its 12th JICA President Award for strong partnership and outstanding contribution towards the development of the Olkaria I Unit 4 & 5 Geothermal Power Project.
Ms. Keiko Sano, Chief Representative, JICA Kenya presented the award to Engineer Albert Mugo, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, KenGen at a colorful ceremony held last week at the KenGen head office in Nairobi.
Every year, JICA selects individuals, groups and projects as recipient of the JICA President Commendation to honor them for their outstanding contribution to the development of human resources, society and the economy of developing countries through JICA activities.
This year, JICA has awarded “The JICA President Award” to 8 projects and 5 individuals, and ‘The JICA Recognition Award” to 13 individuals and 5 groups. It is the first time that a Kenyan company has won the award.
“I am greatly honored on behalf of JICA to present the Certificate of the Commendation and the tribute of the 12th JICA President Award to Engineer Albert Mugo, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) and a strong partner and good friend of JICA as shown through his leadership in the implementation of the Olkaria 1 Unit 4 & 5 Geothermal Power Project,” Ms. Sano said shortly before presenting the coveted award.
“The project through JICA ODA loan is one of the 8 projects awarded the JICA President Award,” Ms. Sano added.
The Olkaria 1 Unit 4 and 5 Geothermal Power Plant project was commissioned to respond to the urgent need of electricity in Kenya and has made great contribution to clean, safe, affordable and stable power generation in collaboration with various development partners by the construction of geothermal power plants of 140 MW in total an equivalent of 23% of the total installed geothermal capacity in Kenya.
“Thanks to the leadership of KenGen as the executing agency of the project, co-financing by 4 financial cooperation agencies, namely JICA, KfW, World Bank, and European Investment Bank was successfully and effectively done through a mechanism for regular monitoring and information sharing,” Ms. Sano revealed, adding that the plant was approved as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations.
Receiving the award, Engineer Mugo applauded JICA for the special recognition, adding that he was “greatly privileged to receive the award” on behalf of the company.
He said the Japanese government through JICA has extended 900 million US dollars Kenya’s energy sector.
Today, Kenya’s electricity generation capacity stands at approximately 2,400 MW. Some 12% (296 MW) of this installed capacity has been financed by Japan through concessional ODA Loans to KenGen, namely, Kipevu I Diesel Power Plant (75 MW), Sondu Miriu Hydropower Plant (60MW), Sangoro Power Plant (21MW), and Olkaria I Units 4/5 Power Plant (140 MW).
The ceremony was moderated by Evanson Njenga (JICA) and attended by among others, senior KenGen officials, Mr. Satoshi Sugimoto, JICA Kenya’s Senior Representative and Ms. Kana Tamura, Representative JICA Kenya respectively.