GDC drills 30 MW well at Menengai, Kenya

Geothermal well at Menengai, Kenya (source: flickr/ ScientificDrilling)
Francisco Rojas 6 Nov 2014

The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) in Kenya has been able to drill the well just after nine months after KenGen drilled the largest steam well in Olkaria.

The geothermal development in Kenya is gaining traction, according to the latest local news, nine months after KenGen drilled Africa’s largest steam well in Olkaria, the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has bored a well to match it in capacity.

GDC has reported drilling a steam well with an estimated power output of 29.6MW in Menengai. This is just a shade lower than the 30MW KenGen hit in Ol Karia in February this year to report the biggest well in Africa so far.

Continued prospecting to add 1,646MW of geothermal power by 2017 (as part of an initial 5,000MW target) could see even larger wells discovered.

Only about a dozen countries in Africa have geothermal potential, with Kenya and Ethiopia thought to be good for between 500MW and 5,000MW of power. Tanzania and Eritrea both have the potential for between 100MW and 500MW.

Other nations in the Greater Rift Valley region with potential include Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Djibouti and Sudan (between 10MW and 100MW); and Madagascar, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia (less than 10MW).

The World Bank and other bodies, including the Icelandic International Development Agency and the Nordic Development Fund, are supporting geothermal exploration efforts in most of these countries.

Source: Business Daily Africa