Mount Elgon, Kenya

Gilkes engineers have recently completed commissioning of a 13.5” Twin Jet Turgo for the Kaptega scheme at Mount Elgon Orchards in Kenya. Mount Elgon Orchards Ltd is a remote farm based on the Kenya Uganda border, exporting 80 million Top quality roses around the world under the brand “The Elgon Collection” (www.mtelgon.com). It also grows 80 hectares of avocados currently. It is a family run farm and the largest employer in Trans Nzoia (Western Kenya) employing 1,400 permanent employees.

Its CSR is impressive, with 3 schools (2,000 children), a hospital and VCT treating 40,000 patients annually, a children’s home, a special needs home, a physiotherapy Centre and an orthopaedic workshop. The recently commissioned hydro plant produces 249kW and is saving the farm over 1,100 litres of diesel per day, previously in its diesel generators.

The electrical characteristics of the site were unusual and demanding, requiring black start ability, islanded running, and regular load changes of up to 50 kW. With the potential of a future grid connection, this scheme had to be engineered for changing needs.

As with many Gilkes turbines, the powerhouse will be unmanned and require only routine inspection and maintenance.  The simplicity of the Turgo impulse operation translates to minimal service and maintenance requirements, making it particularly suited to remote, rural, electrification schemes such as Kaptega.

Gilkes have been supplying hydroelectric turbines to Africa for over 100 years and continue to be fully committed to working in Africa, providing rural electrification through mini grid systems.



  • 13.5" Gilkes HCTI Twin Jet Turgo Impulse Turbine
  • 260 kVA Synchronous Generator with Flywheel
  • Inlet Pipework & Bifurcation
  • Main Inlet valve
  • Hydraulic Control Module & Actuators
  • Control Panel & Switchgear
  • 24V DC Battery Pack
  • Installation & Commissioning

Key Stats

  • Commissioned 2018
  • Power 237 KW
  • Net Head 82 M
  • Flow 370 l/s
  • Turbine Type HCTI Twin Jet Turgo