Geothermal project in Zambia estimates size of up to 19 MW

Geothermal project in Zambia estimates size of up to 19 MW Drilling rig on project site at Bweengwa River, Zambia (source: Kalahari GeoEnergy)
Carlo Cariaga 27 Jul 2021

The Feasibility Study done on the Bweengwa River project by Kalahari Geo Energy indicates a capacity 5 to 7 MWe, possibly additional 10 to 12 MWe on other exploration site, and high Helium content of geothermal fluids

Kalahari Geo Energy has announced an estimated capacity of 5 to 7 MWe on the shallow outflow reservoir of the Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area in Zambia. An additional 10 to 12 MWe is expected from the other exploration sites in the same area. Gas sampling has also confirmed high levels of helium in the geothermal fluids and that the site is suitable for hydrogen production.

The Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area is located in the Kalue Rift and 35km north of the town of Monze. Six geothermal energy targets have been identified by Kalahari Geo Energy.

Exploration work and numerical modeling

Exploration work has so far included drilling of 21 temperature gradient holes and slim holes, on top of geology, geophysics, and hydrochemistry surveys. Most of these slim holes were privately funded while others were funded by a loan under an REPP agreement, as we reported previously.

Resource estimates resulted from the first formal Feasibility Study done on the outflow reservoir of the resource. This study is funded by the USTDA and currently being conduced by Geologica USA. According to the numerical model, the resource is located between 200 meters to >500 meters and has a temperature of 108 to 110 C.

This shallow aquifer is fed by a deeper upflow with temperatures of 130 to 150 C. This deep upflow and the lateral extent of the shallow reservoir have not yet been delineated.

Gas sampling of surface manifestations as well as fluids from slim wells have identified 2.3% Helium concentration. The release also states that the geothermal system can support hydrogen production.

Development plans

The target completion of the Feasibility Study is Q4 of this year, after which the company plans to start development. Current plans involve the use of Organic Rankine Cycle technology.

Through collaboration with Prospero Zambia, the company plans to study possible direct applications of geothermal energy in aquaculture, horticulture, crop processing, and dairy processing. This can potentially increase commercial activity in the region and indirectly boost tourism.

Source: Kalahari GeoEnergy