First 50 MW of Tulu Moye geothermal project in Ethiopia targeted for 2022 completion

Map of the site for the Tulu Moye geothermal project, Ethiopia (source: Tulu Moye Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 29 Oct 2019

Tulu Moye Geothermal is targeting the development of 50 MW in the first phase with a targeted start of operation in September 2022 and additional 100 MW to be operational by 2024.

Following the news on the signing of the drilling contract between Tulu Moye Geothermal (TMGO) and Kenyan KenGen, further details are shared on the development of the project.

Tulu Moye Geothermal plans the development of a 150 MW geothermal power plant with a total investment of USD 800 million.

The drilling contract now signed is not the first one for KenGen in Ethiopia, as the company previously won a tender for drilling wells with a Chinese partner for the Aluto Langano geothermal project of state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).

According to Darrel Boyd, the contract signed with KenGen is USD 60 million dollars contract for the drilling of 12 geothermal wells each costing USD 5-6 million. “We anticipate in drilling of 12 wells each 2,500 meters deep. Drilling works begins in early January,” Boyd said.

TMGO anticipates generating 50 MW from the first phase of the geothermal power plant scheduled for completion in September 2022. The company will invest more than USD 250 million on the first phase of the project.

TMGO will build a second power plant that will generate 100 MW. By 2024, TMGO would be able to generate 150MW of electricity to the national grid.     

The major financier of the geothermal project, Meridiam Infrastructure, attended the signing ceremony. Thierry Deau, founder and CEO of Meridiam, said a lot of resources are spent on the Tulu Moye geothermal project in the past three years. “Various studies have been undertaken to secure the geothermal resources; now we are going to invest more on the new phase to actually confirm there is a good resource,” he said. “For us it is a major project and it is an environmentally friendly one.  It will provide Ethiopia with base load (energy output) which is affordable and that is the key for us in selecting projects,” he added.      

TMGO was established in December 17, 2017. The company signed a power purchasing agreement with Ethiopian Electric Power on December 19, 2017, making it the second independent power project next to Corbetti geothermal. TMGO is a shareholding company of the French investment firm Meridiam SAS (51 percent share) and the Icelandic geothermal company Reykjavik Geothermal (49 percent share).    

Sources: The Reporter Ethiopia, Pumps Africa, IOL