Construction of Aluto Langano small geothermal power plant in Ethiopia is set to commence soon. This is after three companies have been selected by Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the project in central Ethiopia.
The three companies which include; Japanese companies Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and the Turkish engineering company Egesim Energy Electro-Mechanic Construction Contracting Co., signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the geothermal power plant with the state-owned EEP.
Under the agreement, Toshiba will provide a small-scale geothermal power generation system consisting of steam turbines. Egesim Energy was responsible for the construction of the Aluto Langano geothermal power plant.
The Aluto Langano geothermal site is located in the Ethiopian Rift Valley and covers an area of 8 km² near the crater of Aluto, a dormant volcano. The site already has a geothermal power plant that began operation in 1998 with a net production capacity of 7.3 MW, but this facility has been shut down since 2018 due to steam-induced corrosion, hydrothermal blockages and steam line leaks.
The small geothermal plant will be commissioned in August 2021 and will have a capacity of 5 MW. Construction cost of the project is US $17m funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The facility will be operated by Aluto Langano Geothermal Wellhead Power System, a company wholly owned by the Ethiopian state-owned company EEP.
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.