Kenyan company in Phase 2 of Ethiopian geothermal exploration project

18th June 2021 By: John Muchira - Creamer Media Correspondent

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has embarked on the second phase of a $76.8-million geothermal exploration project in Ethiopia.

The company has announced that it has started drilling the first geothermal well for Phase 2 of the Aluto–Langano geothermal power station.

The Aluto–Langano plant, to be built at a cost of $220-million, is expected to generate 75 MW of energy from eight wells.

KenGen is implementing the well drilling contract for Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP).

“Drilling a single well takes about two months to complete. We, however, hope to shorten this period, despite the prevailing circumstances brought about by Covid-19,” says KenGen CEO Rebecca Miano.

She adds that the company has so far drilled 29 m, against a possible maximum of 3 000 m and intends to mobilise a specialised drilling services crew, including aerated drillers, directional drillers and reservoir engineers to ensure the project is a success.

Commencement of Phase 2 follows the completion of Phase 1, which entailed the buying of drilling rigs; Phase 2 entails the provision of drilling services.

KenGen is responsible for about 30% of Phase 2, which translates to about $6.2-million.

Under the project, which is financed by the World Bank through a loan to the Ethiopian government, a total of eight wells will be drilled.

Ethiopia has massive potential for geothermal energy, considering that about 13% of its territory is located within the Rift Valley.

The country has the longest section of the 7 000 km East African Rift Valley, which boasts an estimated geothermal potential of 10 000 MW.