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KenGen and UNU GTP hold geothermal exploration short course in Naivasha

At Lake Naivasha, Kenya (source: flickr/ amirjina, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Nov 2013

Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen) in collaboration with the United Nations University Geothermal Training Program and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) will hold a short course on training on geothermal exploration in Naivasha, Kenya.

Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen) in collaboration with the United Nations University Geothermal Training Program and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) will hold a short course on training on geothermal exploration in Naivasha, Kenya.

As reported from Kenya, “the course was officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Davis Chirchir. The Cabinet Secretary noted that the African continent needs to rapidly develop technical capacity to enable accelerate supply growth of modern energy supply.

‘Energy is critical for socio-economic empowerment of any nation. Kenya for instance is a country blessed with enormous geothermal potential. We plan to exploit this as part of the 5000MW over 40 months target. We must therefore quickly develop trained manpower to make this a reality’ observed Chirchir.

The training has attracted participants from 18 African countries among them, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Djibouti, Zambia, DR Congo, Comoros, Eritrea, Cameroon, Niger, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Yemen and Kenya and lately the Sudan. These are countries that lie along the Great Rift.

The course will focus on among other areas geothermal manifestation, geological mapping, geology, exploration, environmental impact assessment, geochemistry and geophysics. The training has been annually since 2006.

Speaking during the opening ceremony today Ag. KenGen MD&CEO Eng. Simon Ngure said KenGen was keen to assist other African nations exploit the geothermal resource which is abundant along the Great Rift Valley.

‘As we are aware, Africa is endowed with abundant geothermal resource along the Rift system. The Kenya Rift system alone is estimated to have a geothermal potential of over 10,000 MW. Notably with concern is that despite the abundance of this green and renewal energy source, only Kenya and, to a lesser degree, Ethiopia have exploited the resource’ Said Ngure.

The Ag. MD& CEO further revealed that KenGen has started a programme to fast track geothermal exploitation in a bid to offer Kenyans clean, stable and affordable electricity.

‘As part of the 5000MW in 40 months target set by the government, we plan to bring on-stream 850MW from geothermal. We already have acquired 3 rigs and hired 5 others to speed up this initiative’ added the KenGen MD.

Currently, the Company is constructing two geothermal power plants of 140 MW each at the Olkaria Geothermal Field which are expected to be online by December 2014. This will be additional to the 157 MW from geothermal that the Company generates.

The Company pioneered construction of wellheads for early generation. The first and second wellhead units at Eburru and Olkaria of 2.5 MW and 5 MW respectively were commissioned in early 2012. A third wellhead unit that will generate 12.8 MW is near completion. We expect to install an additional 75 MW from the wellhead units.

KenGen has been generating power from geothermal sources for the last 30 years and was the first African utility to engage in geothermal generation.

This has seen the national power generator offer consultancy in many African nations among them Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Comoros, Djibouti, Tanzania.”

Source: KBC