First drilling for Tulu Moye geothermal project in Ethiopia complete

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Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the leading electric power generating company in East Africa that is based in Nairobi, Kenya, has completed drilling of the first well for the Tulu Moye Geothermal project in the Oromia region of southwest Ethiopia.

According to Rufat Maina, the project site manager, drilling for the second well is ongoing and more than 1,000 meters of the planned 2,500 meters have been drilled and excavated.

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The project plans to drill up to 10 wells for the initially planned two phases of development under a US$ 52M contract which also includes the provision of geoscientific surveys at the project site.

The Project Developer

The Tulu Moye geothermal project is developed by Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations (TMGO) that is owned by Meridiam (a global investor and asset manager based in Paris specialized in developing, financing, and managing long-term public infrastructure projects) and Reykjavík Geothermal Ltd (a geothermal development company that specifically identifies and targets high-quality geothermal resources in combination with underserved power markets) with KenGen as joint construction partner.

Sigurgeir Geirsson, Tulu Moye Geothermal’s chief technical officer believes that the fact that the facility is located in the Rift Valley of East Africa has great potential to generate geothermal energy even beyond the initially planned 150MW.

Commissioning of the project

TMGO plans to commission the first phase of the project that will generate approximately 50 MW of electricity in 2023 followed by the second phase that will increase the capacity to 150 MW two years later, in 2025 to be precise.

The output will be sold to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) under a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed in April last year. EEP is a state-owned company engaged in the production, transmission, distribution, and sale of electrical energy in East African countries.