Ethiopian government seeking international investors for geothermal development

Ethiopian government seeking international investors for geothermal development Aluto Langano geothermal plant, Ethiopia (source: UNEP, ARGeo)
Alexander Richter 25 Apr 2018

The Ethiopian Energy Authority is working on attracting international investors with the desirable capital, technology and expertise to help develop the country's geothermal resources.

As reported from Ethipia, the Ethiopian Energy Authority reports that it has been tirelessly working to utilize country’s energy potentials whilst maximizing the involvement of potential local and foreign investors in the sector.

Geothermal Resource Development Director with the Authority Tesfaye Kassa reports that consolidated efforts are underway to lure investors with the desirable capital, technology and expertise in the geothermal development. Investors could maximize their profitability in furthering their engagement in geothermal sector that enable them to produce electricity without interruptions and harm in the environment, the Director recommended.

Tesfaye says that the government has been hugely engaged in diversifying energy resources to lessen the adverse impact of drought and other natural phenomena caused by hydro power generation plants while eyeing geothermal a viable solution.

The establishment of the Energy Authority as new entity also showcased government’s commitment to harness geothermal energy resources in the Second Growth and Transformation Plan period, Tesfaye elaborated. Ethiopia has an immense potential of geothermal energy related to other East African Rift Valley countries, said Tesfaye adding that twenty-four areas are identified as potential geothermal development sites.

According to him, Ethiopia’s geothermal potential areas are classified in to two categories and areas. Areas with resources of less than 120 degrees Celsius in temperature would be meant to recreational and steam purposes. And investors are encouraged to build star-designated hotels and lodges. Areas with resources over 120 degrees Celsius in temperature would be reserved for energy production.

Expressing the Institute’s interest to attract potential investors in both investments, the Director indicated that the private sectors’ involvement has not reached at a desirable level.
Mentioning seven licenses were offered to four companies, Tesfaye indicated that only Langano project commenced operation with an installed capacity of producing 7.2 MW  of electricity while the remaining are conducting feasibility studies.

Capitalizing on the existing viable policy and the commitment government has shown to develop the sector, many foreign companies with huge capital and technological capabilities have shown a growing interest to involve in the geothermal development, the Director noted.

Source: Ethiopian Herald