International Project Management - Olkaria III, Kenya

Location: Naivasha, Kenya

Project Overview:

GRG personnel have the combination of experience, diplomacy, and attention to detail necessary to execute international projects of great scale and complexity. In 2010 GRG was contracted for the expansion of Ormat’s Olkaria III geothermal plant, located in Naivasha, Kenya. The plant is currently operating at 44 megawatts (MW) and is currently undergoing expansion in two phases to increase the output by up to 35 MW.

A senior project engineer from Geothermal Resource Group is serving as lead project manager for oversight of all drilling and related procedures for the expansion. This encompasses management of service companies, handling the logistics of heavy equipment and material movement to the project site from various locations around Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and dealings with customs and regulatory agencies. GRG is also overseeing the management and training of both international and local crews, some of whom have no specific geothermal experience, and providing on-site training where needed.

As the Olkaria Project is located inside of a national park in the central sector of the Kenya Rift Valley working closely with the Kenyan Wildlife Services, an important aspect of project management is to make the drilling staff aware of and to educate them on compliance with the strict environmental constraints that apply in the national park. Some of the more interesting examples are: vehicle movement is limited after dark; wildlife always has the right-of-way on roads; noise levels must be kept below a designated level and are monitored by a third party; and pipelines are built to extra height to allow giraffes to pass under. Issues such as surface disturbance, air emissions, and chemical discharge are kept in check, minimizing impact to the land and making sure that drilling does not lead to environmental degradation or wildlife disturbance.