Kenya - Thika Thermal Power Project

Project Summary

Approval Date 07 Dec 2011
Signature Date 31 May 2012
Sovereign / Non-Sovereign Non Sovereign
Sector Power
DAC Sector Code 23260
Environmental Category 1
Commitment U.A 21,650,358.27
Status Completion

Project General Description

Diversifying power generation sources in Kenya is necessary; and fossil-fuel powered plants are considered viable options, whilst the further development of hydro power resources is assessed. The proposed power plant at Thika is included in Kenya’s Least Cost Power Development Plan, one among three plants which are to contribute to increasing the availability of electricity on the national grid – complementing the Kenya Power and Lighting Company’s (KPLC) transmission and substation project that is under construction (independently of this proposed project). It is fully aligned with the Country’s Strategy Paper (2008-2013) for Kenya which has been elaborated to support two strategic objectives: (i) the development of infrastructures to support economic growth; and (ii) the creation of employment opportunities to reduce poverty. Within this framework, the country specifically intends to address the problems related to the irregularity of its electricity supply. This document is aligned on the long-term development strategy of the country, namely the Vision 2030, which is aware of the fact that the costs of energy in Kenya are currently higher than those of other African competing economies. To stimulate growth and attract investment, Kenya must produce electricity at an economic cost, and increase the efficiency of energy consumption. Aware of its energy needs in order to achieve these objectives of the Vision 2030, the Government has envisioned an ambitious plan to increase its energy production in order to expand current installed capacity. This power plant at Thika aims to satisfy the rapidly growing demand for electricity, while diversifying sources of energy supply.

Project Objectives

The proposed TPP (Thermal Power Plant), a Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) powered Thermal Power Plant, will be located in Thika district, in Kenya, on a purchased plot approximately 8 acres in area, adjacent to a coffee farm. Project activities will include: clearance of approximately 8 acres of land for construction; construction of a powerhouse (to house the diesel engines and a chimney of 65-70 m height) - installation of boilers and condenser, diesel tanks, switchgear; and construction of water treatment and pump house, and ancillary buildings. The power house will generate 60-80 Megawatts of power; and will be connected to electricity transmission network via an existing substation. Once operational, the plant will run continuously; decommissioning is estimated at more than 30 years into the future.


The direct beneficiaries of the project will be the population of Nairobi and Thika town. Up to 500 people will be employed during construction. However, once operational, only 40 to 50 persons will be permanently employed. The proposed project site is located adjacent to the Nairobi-Thika highway, approximately 30 km north of Nairobi city centre and 5 km southwest of Thika town. The project will provide reliable power that will encourage economic growth by helping address Kenya's current and projected energy shortfall. It will benefit the Nairobi area where there is high and growing population.

Participating Organization

African Development Bank


IATI identifier 46002-P-KE-FAA-001
Last Update 02 Dec 2022


Contact Details


Geographic Location

Country Kenya
Coordinates Location Name
-1.03326 37.0693 Thika