Japan to strengthen efforts supporting geothermal development in Africa

Japan to strengthen efforts supporting geothermal development in Africa Olkaria I Units 4 & 5 Geothermal Plant. Source: KenGen
Alexander Richter 22 Aug 2016

At a planned visit to Kenya, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is said to announce his country's support to geothermal development in East Africa, with a focus on Kenya and Ethiopia.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe will be on his way to Kenya this week to participate in the sixth summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi, Kenya.

As part of the visit, he will confirm his country’s commitment to support geothermal projects across Africa. It is reported that in this regard, Kenya and Ethiopia are the key target regions. To this day resource risk and drilling cost keep are still the main obstacles for development in Eastern Africa.

Japanese players are seeing an opportunity to add at least another 400 MW over the coming years. The Japanese government has set aside around $10 million as grant money, as is reported from Japan. This money is aimed at helping cover some costs of projects in early stages.

“In addition, Tokyo will make low-interest loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other financing available for African geothermal projects that have reached the construction stage,” the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Key players active and interested in the geothermal market in Africa are Toshiba, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Fuji Electric, who are all selling turbines, but also Marubeni. Toyota Tsusho and national utility Kenya Electricity Generating are currently planning feasibility studies for geothermal installations beyond East Africa.”

Source: Nikkei, Nikkei