Aluto-Langano Geothermal Expansion-Ethiopia, to get a fresh start

The Aluto-Langano Geothermal Plant, whose expansion is overdue, is going to get a fresh start. This follows the recently announced tender by the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to hire a contractor for the project and procure rigs to drill the wells.

The procurement could cost the EEP approximately US $120m. The plant is expected to generate 75MW of energy from eight wells.

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The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank has provided financial assistance of about US $126m out of the total project cost of US $218m. IDA extended this support under its Geothermal Sector Development Project (GDSP).

Although it is the first geothermal plant in the country, it will be the third largest plant next to the 500MW geothermal power generating plant in Corbetti Caldera, 250Km south of Addis Abeba, and Tulu Moye, another 500MW geothermal project in Oromia Regional State.

Ethiopia has a capacity to generate 4,200MW of energy. It also has the potential of producing 45,000MW of hydropower, 10,000MW of geothermal and 1.3m MW of wind power.

Geothermal potential

Ethiopia boasts of an abundant geothermal potential. However, the country has been unable to match her neighbor, Kenya’s installed geothermal power capacity of about 630MW.

Currently, the country is generating 120MW of energy from the Ashgoda wind farm, 204MW from Adama I and II wind farms and 300MW from Ayisha Windfarm. It is also working on Asella Wind Farm which will generate 100MW of energy, along with the three geothermal projects which are going forward.

Beyond local consumption, Ethiopia is also dealing with neighboring countries to export energy to them. Plans to export 1,000MW of electricity to Sudan and 60MW of energy to Djibouti are underway.

The two projects will help the country to boost the revenue it generates from the export of electric power.

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