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Geothermal used for cereal drying at GDC in Kenya

Grain dryer utilising geothermal steam at Menengai, Kenya (source: GDC)
Carlo Cariaga 8 Mar 2020

GDC has installed a steam-heated cereal drying facility in Menengai, Kenya, the first of its kind in Africa, with the support of the Icelandic International Development Agency.

Kenya-based Geothermal Development Company has installed the first steam drying facility for cereals at their geothermal facility in Menengai. The new cereal drying facility has been funded by the Icelandic International Development Agency and has a capacity of 20 tonnes of cereals per day. We reported from the start of the facility back in 2017.

During a recent tour of the Menengai geothermal project, Agusta Gisladottir, the director for Iceland’s Regional Development Cooperation and Partnerships, noted that direct use is an essential component of the geothermal economy.

“We are pleased to see the progress of this project, which is one its kind in Africa. This goes to show that we can focus on other areas of geothermal energy utilization aside from electricity generation.” Gisladottir said.

GDC has already piloted four prototype direct use applications of geothermal heat in Menengai. These include a milk pasteuriser that uses geothermal steam (also the first of its kind in Africa), a steam-heated fishpond for tilapia cultivation, and a greenhouse, and a laundromat.

GDC Managing Director Johnson ole Nchoes said that the use of geothermal energy in industrial processes not only reduces emissions but also reduces the costs of energy. The GDC is optimistic that these innovations will make Kenya a competitive investment hub.

“Geothermal is the real deal for any investor,” Nchoe said. “Investors will save a great deal on energy when they invest in geothermally heated facilities.”

Source: The Star