Kenya geothermal development beyond power generation

Kenya geothermal development beyond power generation Olkaria III geothermal plant, Kenya (source: emerging africa fund)
Alexander Richter 1 Feb 2011

Kenyas Geothermal Development Company promotes additional use of geothermal resources in Kenya beyond power generation and wants to boost development in agriculture, mining and the set up of factories.

A piece in the news from Kenya, was interesting as it refers to the CEO of Geothermal Development Company Silas Simiyu saying “local communities have continued to languish in poverty with most of the by products of geothermal power generation like hot water, clean drinkable water and minerals such as sulfur being injected back into the ground.

Simiyu on Wednesday led members of the parliamentary budget and energy committees on a familiarization tour of geothermal drilling sites.

Since the development of Olkaria 1 geothermal plant in the early 1980’s geothermal resources development has been left just for power generation works despite other potential uses in agriculture, livestock development, tourism and soap making industries.

And the company mandated with the development of the resource wants a total harnessing of geothermal potential an issue that has already received support from the local leaders such as Baringo MP Athman Kamama whose jurisdiction falls in the Korosi/Chepkuk region with an estimated geothermal potential of generating over 700MW.

Chairman of the energy and communication committee James Rege has also challenged the company to look into tapping from the clean market development with the development of geothermal expected to rake in over 2 billion shillings annually for the country from the sale of carbon credits.

The committees visited the Menengai, Bogoria blocks which are estimated to add to the national grid an extra 2600MW once power generation kicks off.

The committees were also shown rigs purchased by the company to help in drilling and reduce on expenses arising from hired rigs.”

Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corp.