Stocks were up nearly 2% in midday trading for Ormat Technologies, Inc. on Thursday after the company said it had been awarded a contract by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) to build a geothermal power plant in Kenya.
Owned by the government of Kenya, GDC was founded in 2008 to tap the estimated 10,000 MW of geothermal power nestled under the earth's surface in the country's Rift Valley. The company began drilling Phase 1 of a 400 MW project in Menengai field with the intention to build well head power plants as drilling progresses. The power plant built by Ormat represents the project's first power facility.
Ormat's subsidiary, Ormat International Inc., will design, procure, construct and commission the six megawatt power plant. Ormat has established a solid business foundation in one of the world's brightest geothermal hotspots. The company owns and operates the Olkaria III geothermal power plan and it built the first combined heat and power geothermal plant for a private greenhouse specializing in flower export.
Kenya continues to reveal itself as a hotbed for geothermal energy. In May 2011, GDC discovered what CEO Dr. Silas Simiyu described as "the mother of all wells in Menengai," in the world's second largest volcanic crater just outside the city of Nairobi.
Commenting on the newly awarded contract, Ormat CEO Dita Bronicki said, "We are happy to be part of the future geothermal development in Kenya as we continue to increase our activities as owner of power plants in the area."
Image Credit joxeankoret via Flickr
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