Corbetti Geothermal Power Station in Ethiopia

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The 150MW Corbetti Geothermal Power Station is set for construction in the Corbetti Caldera, approximately 250km southwest of Addis Ababa. The site is between the towns of Shashamene and Hawassa in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

The project has been in the pipeline for over 10 years. Even though it has not entered into the implementation phase yet, it has made significant development including the signing of the PPA and Implementation Agreement with the state-owned power utility EEP in March 2020.

Also Read: Ethiopia’s US$ 5bn Grand Renaissance Dam Project Updates

The most recent developments were the launch of its pre-qualification notice in 2021. The notice was floated by the Corbetti Geothermal PLC, in an effort towards identifying potential drilling contractors that bear interest in the project.

The project’s principal participant is Reykjavik Geothermal (RG). The fund manager of the African Renewable Energy Fund, Berkeley Energy (BE) is also a principal participant in the approximately $2 billion project.

Scope of the project 

When it enters the implementation phase, the Corbetti Geothermal Power Station project will be carried out in two phases over a five-year period. The first phase will be the drilling of four to six exploitation wells. This phase will be financially supported by the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), a sub-regional organization that finances and facilitates the development of geothermal energy in East Africa.

The second phase of the project will consist of an additional 100MW power plant and facilities. The entire project also involves the construction of an access road, a 15 km transmission line, and a substation.

Upon completion of development works, the project plans to begin operation in 2027.

Ethiopia, Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) Resolve Differences over Largest Geothermal Project in Africa

Reported On Jun 9, 2014

Ethiopia’s geothermal project gets US$8m boost from AU

The African Union (AU) and the Icelandic-US private developer, Reykjavik Geothermal Limited (RG) signed a US$8m contract. The contract is for the drilling of two wells in the first phase of Ethiopia’s geothermal project.

The head of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Miret Debebe said that the energy from the Corbetti geothermal power project will be for both local consumption and for export to neighboring countries.

The geothermal farm which is 200km south of the capital Addis Ababa, will be built in two phases. The US$2bn, 500MW first phase will be complete in 2018. While the second phase is expected to be in 2021. According to RG, the total cost of the project is US$4bn, assuming 25% equity financing and debt financing of 75%. When complete, the project will represent the largest foreign direct investment in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is in the midst of an ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan which runs until 2015. Under the plan, the government aims to increase power generation from its current level of just under 2,200 MW to 10,000 MW.

Out of this total, 9,000 MW from hydropower, with wind contributing 890 MW. Thereafter, followed by geothermal at 70 MW, and solar power at just 30 MW will follow.

Aug 2015

Ethiopia’s geothermal power generation to grow by 1000mw

Ethiopia’s geothermal power generation is set to grow after the country signed a power purchase agreement with Berkley Energy which is a Kenyan-linked company that will see 1,000MW of energy being generated.

The signing was done by Azeb Asnake, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), and Edward Njoroge, one of the investors from Berkeley Energy.

The mega Corbetti Geothermal Power Project construction which is expected to cost a whopping US$ 4bn will be built in two stages which will see Ethiopia’s geothermal power generation boosted by 500MW online in the next five years. 25 percent of the required investment in equity is anticipated to be raised in the project manager’s plan.

Some of Berkley Energy’s directors involved in the project include Eddy Njoroge, former managing director of power producer KenGen, who is part of the investment committee, Kagwe Njoroge, an investment analyst, Rachel Mutahi and Paul Kizito.

“We are really happy to buy the geothermal power in a bid to ensure Ethiopia is in the forefront of the renaissance that we are having in Africa of new renewable energy,” said Mr. Njoroge.

Berkley Energy is an international company that has offices in Singapore, Mauritius, London, and New Delhi. The firm manages Renewable Energy Asia Fund and the Africa Renewable Energy Fund.

Corbette Geothermal is among the first projects to include external investors in a country that has restricted foreign direct investments. It is partnering with Reykjavik Geothermal of Iceland in this current geothermal project.

Ethiopia has been objective in expanding its energy generation capacity in the recent past with a target of 37,000MW by 2037.

Reported On Aug 14, 2021

Ethiopia: Drilling tender for Corbetti Geothermal project moves forward

The ongoing drilling tender for the Corbetti Geothermal project is in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The project made the announcement of the results of the first round of the drilling activity qualification. Corbetti Geothermal PLC, the ad hoc company created and owned by Berkeley Energy (BE), Reykjavik Geothermal (RG), and InfraCo Africa, are working collaboratively.

Among the successful companies in this round is Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen),  a parastatal company and the largest electric power producer in Kenya. It is also drilling for the Tulu Moye (50 MWe) geothermal project in Ethiopia. KenGen will compete in the next and final phase of the process with a Baker Hughes-led consortium that is made up of TSAVO Oilfield Services Limited and Parker Drilling. As well as Great Wall Drilling Company, Grey Wolf Drilling, Iceland Drilling Company, Marriott Drilling, and Schlumberger.

Moving Forward

Corbetti Geothermal PLC is looking forward to continuing with the tender process. It expects tenders to be submitted before the end of the current year. Thereafter, an agreement was signed shortly after New Year to commence the drilling works.

The chosen company will be responsible for drilling three geothermal exploration wells and up to 26 production wells.

Commencement of the development of the Corbetti Geothermal project

The development of the Corbetti geothermal project commenced back in 2011. The project has been recognized as a priority flagship project for power development in the East African country and Corbetti Geothermal PLC was the first Independent power producer (IPP) to sign a Power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ethiopian Electric Power.

According to Corbetti Geothermal, numerous surface studies have shown that this caldera has a significant geothermal potential, which allows for a project with a production capacity of 500 MWe. Depending on the outcome of the Corbetti exploration drilling a go/no go decision will be made on the drilling of additional production wells in the area.

Reported On Aug 15, 2017

Corbetti geothermal project to kick off after final agreement signing

Corbetti Geothermal and the government of Ethiopia have solved their differences after a period of the dispute. The two will sign a final agreement that will enable the company to embark on Africa’s largest geothermal project.

Furthermore, the developer Corbetti Geothermal, the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE), and the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation are finalizing negotiations to sign the final agreement.


Reykjavik Geothermal (RG), signed a framework agreement called “Heads of Terms” with the then Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation in October 2013. This enabled it to develop 1,000 MW of electricity from geothermal energy sources in the South Eastern part of Ethiopia.

1RG with its local partner Rift Valley Geothermal established Corbetti Geothermal Plc. and brought along major investors. Berkley Energy and Iceland Drilling, the two investors have shown interest to invest in the project. Iceland Drilling would be providing drilling services under the agreement and receive an equity stake in return.

According to the Strategy and Investment Director of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) Mekuria Lemma, the two have agreed on all the pending issues on the power purchasing agreement. The implementation agreement signing was delayed because of some differences that arose between the company and the Ethiopian government.

RG owns a 28.5% stake in Corbetti Geothermal Plc, Berkley Energy at 53.5% and Iceland Drilling at 18%. Corbetti Geothermal secured funding from major international financiers. The project is also backed by the US Power Africa Initiative.

Moreover, the company agreed to build the geothermal power plant and sell electric power for 7.53 US cents per kWh for the Ethiopian national grid.  The country’s total generation capacity has reached 4,280 MW of which 92% is hydro. The remaining 6% is wind and the other 2% is thermal. Ethiopia’s geothermal potential is approx. 10,000MW while the hydropower potential generation capacity is as high as 45,000 MW.

Reported On Aug 14, 2021

Ethiopia to construct 150 MW geothermal power plant

Ethiopia is to benefit from the construction of a 150 MW geothermal power plant following a power purchase agreement signed between the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) company and the Corbetti Geothermal project developers.

The signing was announced by InfraCo Africa, a subsidiary of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and one of the four companies behind the project. The other three are Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd, Iceland Drilling Co Ltd, and Berkeley Energy.

The InfraCo Africa CEO Mr. Gilles Vaes said that the consortium remains committed to the development of geothermal energy in the Ethiopian Rift Valley at these challenging times and that they are excited to take the next steps together and in close partnership with EEP and the Ethiopian government to realize this ambitious project.

The PPA and IA signed to allow the Corbetti geothermal project to move into the next phase of implementation and to commence the drilling program.