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New China-Kenya MOU to foster further geothermal development

Olkaria I Units 4 & 5 Geothermal Plant (source: KenGe)
Alexander Richter 9 Nov 2016

Under a new MOU with Kenya, China has announced plans of up to $970 million in investment into geothermal development with a focus on equipment to be provided by Chinese companies.

At meetings recently held in Kenya, Chinese and Kenyan counterparts have agreed on amendments to a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding for geothermal development in Kenya.

With those now adapted arrangements, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the partnership with the Chinese government would fast track measures to ensure more geothermal power is available so as to provide cheaper and reliable power.

“We don’t have the money to put in but we have the steam. They don’t have the steam, they have the money so they are coming with the money so that we quantify the equivalence in terms of shareholding, either 50/50 but we leave it for the technical or the legal department,” Mr Keter said to local news yesterday.

Essentially with funding of up to Sh100 billion ($970 million) over a 30 year period, Chinese firms are hopeful to be providing their equipment for geothermal power plants.

The adapted MOU will remove certain conditions, described as restrictive for Chinese players, particular in relation to modular power plants by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

An approval of the MOU by Kenya’s cabinet and parliament are still outstanding.

Under the agreement, KenGen and the Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) will assist CNPC in drilling steam wells while the latter will invest in putting up power plants.

Source: CitizenTV