HomeBiggest projectsAluto-Langano Geothermal Project Updates, Ethiopia

Aluto-Langano Geothermal Project Updates, Ethiopia

Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), a state-owned company, has announced the commencement of production testing of newly dug geothermal wells at the Aluto Langano location in central Ethiopia.

The steam production testing will reportedly run for three months, with each well tested every two weeks.

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July 2015

Ethiopia launches its first geothermal well

Geothermal well
Ethiopia’s first geothermal ell drilled

Ethiopia has launched its first geothermal well which was drilled and has successfully discharged steam. The project which was part of the Aluto Langano Geothermal Project supported by the Japanese government was started in 2010.

Ethiopia’s Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiro Suzuki were present to launch the geothermal well.

According to the Japanese Embassy Press release, the project was launched in 2010 with financial assistance from the Government of Japan and the World Bank and has been implemented jointly by the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), the Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE) and Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) and West Japan Engineering Consultants (West JEC).

This mega project was referred to in the Joint Communique of the Japan-Ethiopia bilateral summit meeting, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Addis Ababa in January 2014. Since then, the Japanese Government has made every effort to see the project kick off. Financial assistance for the project came from the Government of Japan and the World Bank.

This is good news for Ethiopia and its neighbours as the steam discharged from the well has laid a solid foundation in order to implement the project and will contribute to the consideration of further assistance from the Government of Japan in the area of geothermal power generation.

March 2018

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.

Also read: World’s largest hybrid solar plant switches on

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 the 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 abundant geothermal potential. However, the country has been unable to match her neighbour, 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 neighbouring 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.

Feb 2019

KenGen to provide geothermal drilling services to Ethiopia’s EEP

KenGen to provide geothermal drilling services to Ethiopia's EEP

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has secured a contract to provide geothermal drilling services to state-run Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).

The consortium was awarded the contract in December 2018, but the signing was done recently in the presence of EEP CEO, Dr Abraham Belay, KenGen’s MD and CEO, Rebecca Miano, and other KenGen leaders.

The contract will involve the operation and maintenance of drilling rigs for sinking geothermal wells at the Aluto-Langano rolling steam fields. The contract is part of Ethiopia’s geothermal development project financed through a loan from the World Bank to the tune of US $76.8m. A chunk of the cash will go towards the purchase of drilling rigs to be operated by KenGen and the Chinese firm.

Also Read: Baringo-Silali Geothermal project in Kenya to receive US $13m boost

The project

The project will consist of two phases of implementation, namely Phase I which is the purchase of drilling rigs and Phase II, the provision of drilling services. KenGen is set to supply approximately 30% of the component of Phase II, translating to around US $6.2m.

However, Abraham Belay, CEO of EEP added that Ethiopia currently has geothermal drilling rigs that are idle and broken hence the government need to purchase new ones. “We will be delighted to receive help to build the capacity of our people to be able to manage the equipment and run the power plants even after KenGen exit the sites,” she added.

March 2020

Construction of Aluto Langano small geothermal power plant in Ethiopia to commence

Construction of Aluto Langano small geothermal power plant in Ethiopia to commence

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.

Also Read:GDC granted $18.6m for Baringo-Silali Geothermal project

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

April 2021

Drilling works for Aluto-Langano geothermal project in Ethiopia to begin

Asheber Balcha, the Managing Director of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has announced that drilling works for the Aluto-Langano geothermal project, located approximately 216 km southeast of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, will begin this month on the 18th day to be precise.

Mr Balcha made the announcement during a recent visit to the Aluto Langano geothermal site where the Chinese equipment and oil services company dubbed Kerui Petroleum successfully lifted derrick and substructure for the first 1500HP drilling rig sometime last year.

In February 2019, Kerui Petroleum, in partnership with Kenya’s state-owned power producer Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC, signed a contract with Ethiopia’s EEP, under which, the Chinese company would supply two sets of 1500HP drilling rigs, personnel training, drilling operation, and related technology transfer for the drilling initially of the 22 wells at Aluto-Langano.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to expand the capacity of an existing geothermal power plant that first entered its operation phase back in 1998 with a nominal capacity of 8.5 MWe and a net power generation capacity of 7.3 MWe.

Also Read: US$ 500M approved for implementation of ADELE project, Ethiopia

However, corrosion, hydrothermal blockages, leaks, and lack of expertise of the plant’s staff led to a decline in power generation capacity several times, followed by extensive repairs and rehabilitation work including corrosion damage and eventually, the closure of the facility back in 2018.

Geothermal potential of the East African country

Occupying the longest section of the 7,000-km Great East African Rift Valley, Ethiopia boasts an estimated geothermal potential of 10,000 MW that the government plans to tap into so as to power the country’s development projects and contribute to its aim of becoming a light manufacturing hub in Africa and middle-income economy by the end of the next five years.

Aug 2021

Significant progress made at Aluto-Langano geothermal project in Ethiopia

Construction of Aluto Langano small geothermal power plant in Ethiopia to commence

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) has announced that it has surpassed a crucial stage, a depth of 450 meters to be precise, in the ongoing Aluto-Langano geothermal project in Ethiopia.

The announcement was particularly made by Rebecca Miano, the Managing Director and CEO of the leading electric power generating company in East Africa.

She said, “The first 450 meters is the most difficult phase of the entire geothermal well drilling process, which can go up to a depth of 3,000 meters. This particular one is even being done under peculiar circumstances including unforeseen delays occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Also Read: Drilling works for Aluto-Langano geothermal project in Ethiopia to begin

“We commend our team for surpassing the 450 meters depth of drilling, overcoming all the challenges usually encountered at the initial stages of drilling a geothermal well,” said Mrs Miano.

Way forward

Mrs Miano said that going forward the company will be drilling at a rate of about 50 meters per day and therefore they expect to complete the remaining part on schedule, in about two months.

“We have a team of experts comprised of aerated drillers, directional drillers, and reservoir engineers actively working on this project and we have also dispatched a team to mobilize a second rig to fast track the process and achieve our goal of drilling eight wells much faster,” affirmed the Kengen MD and CEO.

The drilling of the second geothermal well under the Aluto-Langano project started Mid-August 2021 and it was reportedly at a depth of 36 meters by the 18th day of the month.

KenGen believes that depending on the outcomes of Lot 1 wells (a total of 8 wells), an additional 12 wells may be drilled under Lot 2 of the contract, which it won in a joint venture with Shandong Kerui Petroleum Equipment Company and Shandong Kerui Oilfield Service Group in February 2019, to bring the total number of wells to 20.

 (constructionreviewonline.com)

Ethiopia launches its first geothermal well (constructionreviewonline.com)

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