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GDC commissions additional three drilling rigs at Menengai

Drilling crew at Menengai, Kenya (source: flickr/ GDC5000)
Francisco Rojas 5 Jan 2015

According to local news, "GDC is accelerating the development of geothermal energy in support of the Jubilee government effort towards affordable, reliable and green energy"

Local news from Kenya detail that The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is commissioning three new drilling rigs at the Menengai Project. The rigs that were recently acquired are undergoing installation and testing as a standard practice. The three rigs have now brought to seven the number GDC owns. According to the company engineers, the rigs will speed up the drilling of geothermal steam that is used to generated electricity.

“So far the progress of the rigs is impressive,” said Johnstone Maleche, the Manager Drilling Operations.

“This installation and commissioning is key and is normally done by the supplier. He must prove that the rigs are working.” GDC is accelerating the development of geothermal energy in support of the Jubilee government effort towards affordable, reliable and green energy. Already the firm has drilled steam wells with an output of 120MW. This steam is more than enough needed for the first 105MW expected to be generated by the end of the year.

“Menengai is the fastest developed field in the world and we are proud of it,” Managing Director Dr Silas Simiyu said. “The speed with which we are going will enable the country to attain energy sufficiency sooner than later.”

Recently, GDC handed power generation sites to three Independent Power Producers (IPP). This came upon a satisfactory feasibility study, and after GDC signed a Project Implementation and Steam Supply Agreement (PISSA) with three independent Power Producers – Or Power Twenty Two, Quantum and Sosian Energy- which each will install power plants of 35 MW by the end of 2015.

According to computations, the Menengai model of reduced cost of drilling, striking mega wells and engaging IPPs, the cost of geothermal energy will trade at 5$cts about Ksh 5 per KwH as opposed to the current rates of about 17 cts. Clearly, with more innovation the consumer remains the winner. It’s a classic case of hot innovation cooling cost of energy.

Source: Standard Digital News