The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has announced plans to drill more wells along the East Africa rift system that’s already home to Africa’s largest geothermal power plants at Olkaria in Naivasha and Menengai in the outskirts of Nakuru Town in Kenya
Mr Jared Othieno, the GDC Managing Director made the announcement and said the power firm also seeks to establish industrial heat parks in Baringo County, where GDC is drilling more wells in Paka, Korosi and Silali.
This move follows a US $5m grant the company received from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility in its bid to strengthen the country’s quest to boost the share of green energy in the national grid. The heat park concept is an approach where, apart from power generation, geothermal energy is used in industrial heating and for recreational and leisure.
“Heat parks will transform Baringo County and the country at large. A heat park offering reliable and affordable energy will create jobs and boost the economy of the region,” said Mr Jared Othieno.
Mr Othieno spoke during a tour of the project accompanied by German Development Bank (KFW) officials. KFW is financing the first phase of the Baringo-Silali geothermal project at a cost of US $93m.
The Baringo-Silali block is estimated to have a potential of 3,000 MW. For the first phase, GDC aims at developing 300 MW by 2030 at the Paka, Korosi and Silali fields. GDC recently struck a well at Paka Hills, boosting its quest to develop geothermal energy in the country. Meanwhile, Nakuru County is banking on geothermal power to drive its industrial revolution. Nakuru County hopes to rely on geothermal energy to power its economy at a time when the drive to turn Naivasha to a major economic hub in Kenya and East Africa is gathering pace.