KenGen’s new CEO to focus on capacity expansion in geothermal and coal

The new man at the helm of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Albert Mugo, has said that his core focus will be on capacity expansion and further diversifying the company’s power generation mix into geothermal and coal sources.

Speaking at his maiden press conference as Managing Director and CEO of Kenya’s largest power producer, Mugo pledged to fast-track various key projects the company is presently undertaking including two geothermal plants with a capacity of 280MW expected to come on-stream by mid this year.

“My immediate assignment is to complete the 280 MW of geothermal power in order to reduce reliance on the expensive thermal power and the weather-dependent hydro energy. These projects are part of Kenya Government’s efforts to reduce the cost of electricity by up to 40 per cent this year,” he told reporters at the company’s head office in Nairobi.

Mugo was picked by the KenGen board from a shortlist of eight contenders for the top job previously held by Eddy Njoroge who retired last year.

An industry veteran who has previously served in senior positions at the Kenya Pipeline Company and national electricity distributor Kenya Power, Mugo is credited with spearheading some of KenGen’s recent major electricity projects most notably the 120MW Kipevu III and the 280MW geothermal plants in Olkaria area situated in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

A holder of a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree in strategic management, both from the University of Nairobi, Mugo is expected to steer the next phase of KenGen’s growth at a time Kenya is striving to increase electricity production from the current 1,700MW to 5000MW within 36 months.

Mugo has also completed the Advanced Management Programme at Strathmore University and is registered with the Engineer’s Registration Board and member of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.

Meanwhile, the new KenGen chairman Joshua Choge has said that KenGen’s plans to scale up geothermal power production to 560MW in 2014 were firmly on course. “We will soon be commissioning two major power plants, Olkaria I (extension) and Olkaria IV, each with a capacity of 140MW,” said Choge who formally introduced the new MD to the media