In early 2020, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Plc signed two contract to drill geothermal wells in Ethiopia.
The firm also stated that it is looking at 8 other African states namely Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Zambia and Comoros.
The sh5.2 billion Ethiopia contracts, in Aluto and Tulu Moye, and for the other African countries are to boost revenues.
The firm whose half-year profit almost doubled to sh8.2 billion for the year ending December 2019, compared to the dame period, says Kenya has a capacity of 10Giga Watts (GW) of geothermal energy mostly untapped.
According to new data, Kenya has surpassed Italy as the 7th largest geothermal power producer in the world, with a capacity of 823 megawatts. In Kenya, 85 per cent of this operated and owned by KenGen, the rest by Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Speaking to CNBC Africa news, KenGen Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Miano revealed how KenGen Plc is planning to power Africa.
“The whole of the Rift Valley in Africa is well endowed with that resource (Geothermal energy), but KenGen ans Kenya are ahead of most of the countries. We have the expertise, equipment and technology; and we would like Africa to access the expertise and resources that we have to be able to expand the geothermal capacity in Africa and therefore power Africa using Geothermal resource”, Rebecca Miano said.
Ethiopia geothermal wells
The company’s CEO said that word on drilling in Ethiopia at Tulu Moye had began and was only stopped after travel restrictions over Covid-19 pandemic was announced.
The African other 8 African states, which share Kenya’s favourable and geothermal rich Rift Valley geology, are playing catch up in their efforts to exploit the renewable and cheap geothermal energy.
Uganda Minister of Energy Mary Kitutu visited KenGen during the launch of 165 MW into the national grid early this year.
Kenya attracted a record $1.4 billion (Sh145 billion) investments in renewable energy last year, the third highest in Middle East and Africa, deepening its shift from expensive sources of electricity, according to the 2019 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report that tracked global trends in renewable energy investments.
The drilling of Tulu Moye geothermal wells will begin as soon as international restriction on travel due to covid-19 are eased.
KenGen Plc is the largest power producing company in Kenya, producing over 69% of the electricity consumed in the country. It relies on various sources to generate electricity ranging from hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind.
Kenyan Business Feed is the top Kenyan Business Blog. We share news from Kenya and across the region. To contact us with any alert, please email us to [email protected]