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Team requests Sh15b for geothermal energy project

By | Jan 26th 2011 | 2 min read

Geothermal Development Corporation is seeking Sh15 billion from the Government to speed up power generation that will lead to reduction in electricity cost.

GDC Managing Director Silas Simiyu told 20 MPs from three parliamentary committees the money would be used for geothermal electricity generation in Menengai in Nakuru, Silale and Paka in Baringo East and parts of Lake Turkana.

He said GDC needs Sh80 billion and some development partners had pledged to help.

"We are impressed by the response by donors. The Government’s contribution is about 17 per cent, "said Dr Simiyu.

Prospects of the project

He said drilling at Menengai had already begun and was optimistic geothermal energy will have surpassed hydroelectricity in the next two years.

Simiyu was addressing MPs representing the Parliamentary select committees on Energy, Agriculture and Budget at Lake Bogoria Spa after they visited Menengai Crater and Silale geothermal sites in Naivasha.

Addressing the Press after the meeting, the chairman of the Energy Committee James Rege said they were impressed by the prospects of geothermal energy as it would not only reduce the cost of electricity but also open up marginalised regions in Baringo and Turkana.

"The three committees will deliberate on whether GDC should get a budgetary allocation for the amount before making recommendations to Parliament," he said.

Turkana South MP Josephat Nanok and his Baringo East counterpart Asman Kamama said the geothermal project in their constituencies would improve infrastructure and offer opportunities for employment hence reduce insecurity.

Mr Nanok said GDC would construct roads to the plants and attract investors who had kept off due to poor road network.

"GDC will supply water from condensed steam which can be used for agriculture through irrigation as well as water points hence reduce conflicts and cattle rustling incidence," he said.

Kamama said youth, who have been engaging in cattle rustling will be occupied once water for irrigation is available.

GDC expects to start drilling in the two areas next year.

Among MPs present were John Mututho, Lee Kinyanjui, Nelson Gaichuhie, Erastus Mureithi and Jackson Kiptanui.

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