A geothermal power plant at Olkaria. FILE PHOTO | NMG State-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is eyeing lucrative geothermal infrastructure tenders in nine African countries, officials have said.
KenGen, which last October won a Sh5.2 billion tender to drill geothermal wells in Ethiopia, the second win in the landlocked country in under four months, said it is eyeing similar deals in Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Zambia and Comoros to boost revenues.
The African states, which share Kenya’s favourable and geothermal rich Rift Valley geology, are playing catch up in their efforts to exploit the renewable and cheap geothermal energy.
Heads of government and top officials from the eight African countries have already been hosted at KenGen’s plants in Naivasha or are set to visit as talks continue on the deals.
“We have ready capacity to help these countries exploit their geothermal resources. We are already doing this for Ethiopia and we are in talks with these countries on how to collaborate with them,” said Cyrus Karingithi, the assistant manager, resource development and infrastructure at the KenGen in an interview with Business Daily.
Last October, KenGen said it has reached an agreement with an independent power producer (IPP), Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations located in the eastern region of Ethiopia, to drill wells and offer geo-scientific survey.
Under the deal, KenGen which sunk its first exploratory well in 1956, will provide geo-scientific survey and drilling eight geothermal wells. A geothermal well costs about Sh650 million.
The Ugandan minister for Energy Irene Nafuna Muloni is expected to visit KenGen’s Olkaria plants for further talks.