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GDC MD Johnson ole Nchoe (left) and board of directors chairman John Njiraini during a tour of geothermal projects in Baringo, Silali and Menengai. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has announced a joint venture with Nakuru County Government for establishment of an industrial park powered by geothermal energy.

The park around the Menengai Crater in Nakuru will benefit heavily from the cheap geothermal energy that GDC is currently developing.

Speaking in Nakuru when he visited Governor Lee Kinyanjui, GDC Board Chairman John Njiraini, said geothermal energy offered opportunities for economic growth.   

“There is so much that geothermal energy can offer to different investors especially those who require heavy energy for production,” Njiraini said. 

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The company MD Johnson ole Nchoe said through the support of the Icelandic International Development Agency, they had installed a semi-commercial cereals dryer in Menengai that uses hot geothermal liquid to dry grains. “In geothermal the concept of direct use is gaining traction and we have installed the first cereals dryer of its kind in Africa that uses heat from geothermal fluids,” said Engineer Nchoe.

“That is the kind of innovative thinking we want to expand into commercial scale so that investors can benefit more from geothermal power,”  he said.

The governor noted that geothermal was a game changer natural resource in the county and was cheaper, environmental friendly and abundantly available in the country unlike heavy oil.

“We shall partner and support all economic efforts that will fully utilise geothermal energy and the concept of industrial parks is very exciting and promising,” Kinyanjui said.

The governor pointed to the industrial park in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha as one of the capital projects by the national government which would offer job opportunities and revenue for the county.

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GDC is piloting five prototypes that use geothermal steam heat for milk pasteurisation, heating green houses, heating aqua ponds, for laundromat and for drying cereals. 

The company is currently betting on its massive expertise and resources to drive the manufacturing agenda by offering steam heat at competitive rates.

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