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African Union provides grant for survey studies in the Comoros

Mount Karthala, Grande Comore, Comoros (source: flickr/ David Stanley, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 26 May 2015

The African Union signs grant contract for up to 80% of the cost of surface studies for the Karthala geothermal prospect in Grande Comore on the Comores Islands.

The African Union Commission (AUC) represented by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, and the Geological Bureau of Comoros signed a grant contract totalling USD 844,680, on 15 May 2015. The grant representing 80% of the total cost to conduct surface study in Karthala Geothermal Prospect located in Grande Comore – main island of Comoros.

The signing ceremony was held at the Retaj Moroni Hotel in Moroni, Union of Comoros, as part of the AUC efforts to mobilize financial and technical support to Member States through the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), as well as the Regional Geothermal Programme.

The grant contract was signed by H.E. Mrs. Siti Kassim, Minister in charge of the Ministry of Production, Energy, Environment, Industry and Handcraft, and H.E. Dr. Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC in the presence of high-level officials of the Union of Comoros including the Vice President and Minister of finance, Minister of Justice, Ambassadors of different countries to the Union of Comoros and Representatives of various international organizations.

The AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim in her remarks expressed her gratitude towards this achievement in geothermal energy development, which will in turn improve the quality of life of the people of Comoros. Thanking all stakeholders for their on-going support, she urged the government of the Union of Comoros to maintain the momentum of the project and apply for GRMF grant for drilling programme in the coming application round.

The President of the Union of Comoros, H.E. Ikililou Dhoinine received the AUC delegation and expressed his appreciation to the AUC for its’ efforts and valuable support to geothermal energy development in the Union of Comoros, which will mark the turning point in achieving the realization of energy generation from indigenous geothermal resources in the Country. The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy informed the President about the efforts of the AUC in improving the energy sector in Member States and the agreements with some partners to mobilize technical and financial support to explore geothermal energy in Eastern African countries including the Union of Comoros.

The AUC delegation held meetings with the Ministry of Production, Energy, Environment, Industry and Handcraft, the Geological Bureau of Comoros and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss further collaboration in developing geothermal energy and other resources in the Union of Comoros and contribution of AUC to mobilize more technical and financial support.

The GRMF has been established by the AUC, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund in cooperation with the German government owned development bank KfW. The objective of GRMF is to encourage public and private investors (project developers) to develop geothermal prospects

for power generation in Eastern Africa by providing cost sharing grants for surface studies and drilling of reservoir confirmation wells. An initial fund totalling 50 million Euros has been made available for such grants. A further contribution of 47 million pound sterling was received from the Department for international Development (DFID), UK.

The GRMF has achieved significant successes in supporting geothermal energy development in East Africa by awarding USD 17 million grant for four projects in Kenya and Ethiopia in the 1st application round, which was launched in 2012. Another USD 9 million has been awarded to four projects in Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros in the 2nd application round, which was launched in 2013.

The 3rd application round was launched in October 2014 and resulted in pre-qualification of eleven (11) projects from 7 countries along the East African Rift, which have now been invited to submit full applications by 17th July 2015, which will be evaluated and move towards grant award.

For detailed information about Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) please visit the GRMF website: http://www.grmf-eastafrica.org/ 

Source: Official release by the African Union