The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to replicate the success of Menengai geothermal project across Africa.
The bank in a press statement called the 400 MW project ambitious and said will work on a series of smaller projects across the East African Rift Valley adapted to specific content of each country and geothermal potential.
In Djibouti the bank will development a 50 MW power plant in the Lac Assal region while in Ethiopia and Tanzania the bank is defining a geothermal development roadmap under Climate Investment Funds.
The same project will also be carried out in Comoros for a 20 MW geothermal plant to match the needs of the archipelago.
This was revealed during the 2012 African Rift Geothermal Conference held in Nairobi to help the bank premier its development in geothermal energy sector. The conference was attended by more than 630 delegates and 25 exhibitors.
“An eloquent illustration of this new model is the Menengai geothermal development project in Kenya, which the African Development Bank has recently supported with approximately USD 150 million highly concessional financing from its own resources blended with climate investment funds,” said Thierno Bah, AfDB Senior Power Engineer.
The Menengai Project once completed will increase energy supply to 500,000 Kenyan households, 300,000 small businesses and some 1,000 GWh for other businesses and industries.
The project will also displace around two million tons of carbon dioxide per annum, hence significantly contributing to the fight against climate change.
“Building on Kenyan success AfDB is focusing on developing the geothermal potential in Tanzania which has been identified as the next country having an important geothermal potential,” the bank said.
Tonia Kandiero, AfDB Resident Representative in Tanzania called the project ambitious to untapped the large geothermal resource potential in the Eastern Africa region from the current 217 MW, mostly in Kenya to estimated 10,000 MW which can be found in Kenya.
The project will be financed for the early stage and high-risk activities mainly related to drilling activities to be undertaken by a special purpose company like the Kenyan Geothermal Development Company (GDC).
© Manuel Odeny, 2013