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Ethiopia geothermal works on course - KenGen

BUSINESSBy ANTONY GITONGA | Thu,Oct 21 2021 11:50:00 EAT
By ANTONY GITONGA | Thu,Oct 21 2021 11:50:00 EAT


KenGen Geothermal Plaza offices, Naivasha. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The exploration of geothermal energy by KenGen in Ethiopia is on course, according to the company’s weekly review report.

According to KenGen MD Rebecca Miano, the over Sh700 million (US$6.2 million) project had entered a crucial stage and was running smoothly.

In a statement published by the company, Miano said a team of experts composed of aerated drillers, directional drillers and reservoir engineers was working on the project.

Miano said the engineers had crossed the 450 metres drilling depth of the first of eight geothermal wells for the State-owned electricity Ethiopia Electric Power Company (EEP).

“The first 450 metres is the most difficult phase of the entire geothermal well drilling process, which can go up to a depth of 3,000m,” she said.

The MD added that despite unforeseen delays caused by Covid-19, the engineers would be drilling at a rate of about 50 metres per day.

“We, therefore, expect to complete the remaining part on schedule in about two months in the ongoing capital project,” said Miano.

In February 2019, KenGen won a joint contract with Shandong Kerui Petroleum Equipment Company and Shandong Kerui Oilfield Service Group to offer geothermal drilling services.

"We are glad that the progress of drilling at Aluto-Langano is remarkable and optimistic that our team will deliver it within the set timelines,” she said.

She added that KenGen was optimistic that the project, financed by the World Bank, would drill an extra 12 wells to bring the total to 20 wells.

KenGen has also secured a Sh709m project to offer commercial drilling services in Djibouti after signing a contract with the Djiboutian Office of Geothermal Energy Development.

Earlier, KenGen and Kenya's Parliamentary Committee on Energy met senior officials from the Ethiopian government.

According to the committee chairman David Gikaria, their Ethiopian counterparts were concerned by the delayed completion of the Sh120 billion Kenya-Ethiopia electricity transmission line.

“The Ethiopian government has completed its part of the project and the current delay is due to failure by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company to do its part,” he said.

Speaking in Naivasha, he noted that the delayed compensation of families displaced by the project had affected works on the project forcing their Ethiopia counterparts to complain.

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