Djibouti to invest US$31million in geothermal power plants

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In a move aimed at cutting reliance on imported electricity from neighbouring Ethiopia, Djibouti plans to invest US$31million in geothermal power plants. Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa with a population of less than a million people, has a peak demand of 70 MW of electricity, 65 percent of which comes through a line connecting the Djiboutian grid with that of Ethiopia. This is according to Djama Ali Guelleh, director of electricity.

The project, to be funded by a range of lenders such as the African Development Bank, will start in 2015, with the first phase producing 50 MW and output doubling after the second phase. Four steam wells will be drilled in the first phase.

Ilyass Dawaleh Moussa, the minister of economy and finance, said this funding will ensure the commercial viability of exploiting this resource and to significantly increase the supply of affordable energy for people and the sectors of the country’s economy.

Djibouti’s director of electricity added that development of the Assal geothermal field has been contracted to Reykjavik Energy Invest of Iceland.