The drilling of geothermal power by Kenya’s electricity generating company (KenGen) in Djibouti is expected to kick off in a month.
The Sh700 million projects were awarded to KenGen three months ago, following an agreement with the Djiboutian office of geothermal energy development (ODDEG).
The project involves the drilling of two geothermal wells at the Galla Le Koma geothermal field in the Lake Assal region.
Geothermal development director Abel Rotich said preparations for the commencement of the drilling works were 80 percent complete.
The official contract signing was done in Djibouti in mid-February between KenGen and Oddeg.
The firm has completed the first drilling at Tulu Moye site in Ethiopia while the drilling of the second well is underway.
Under the Sh5.5 billion contract, KenGen will drill eight wells in the Ethiopian rift valley with each well costing sh630 million.
The firm is also set to start commercial production of its 83.3 MW Olkaria 1 Unit 6 geothermal power plant before the end of 2021.
With an installed geothermal power generation capacity of 706 MW today, this would not only significantly increase the company’s geothermal production, but also edge Kenya closer to joining the 1 GW geothermal country club.
Today, Kenya has a geothermal power generation capacity of 861 MW. With the addition of the Olkaria 1 Unit 6 it would bring the total capacity to around 944 MW or to the same level as Italy.
KenGen has further geothermal development ongoing. This includes the rehabilitation of Olkaria I and planned joint venture development of an additional 140 MW in geothermal power development.
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