• 12 hours Oil Pares Gains After API Reports Surprise Crude Inventory Build
  • 12 hours Elon Musk Won’t Get Paid Unless Tesla Does “Extraordinarily Well”
  • 13 hours U.S. Regulators Keep Keystone Capacity Capped At 80 Percent
  • 13 hours Trump Signs Off On 30 Percent Tariff On Imported Solar Equipment
  • 15 hours Russian Funds May Invest In Aramco’s IPO To Boost Oil Ties
  • 16 hours IMF Raises Saudi Arabia Growth Outlook On Higher Oil Prices
  • 18 hours China Is World’s Number-2 In LNG Imports
  • 1 day EIA Weekly Inventory Data Due Wednesday, Despite Govt. Shutdown
  • 1 day Oklahoma Rig Explodes, Leaving Five Missing
  • 1 day Lloyd’s Sees No Room For Coal In New Investment Strategy
  • 2 days Gunmen Kidnap Nigerian Oil Workers In Oil-Rich Delta Area
  • 2 days Libya’s NOC Restarts Oil Fields
  • 2 days US Orion To Develop Gas Field In Iraq
  • 4 days U.S. On Track To Unseat Saudi Arabia As No.2 Oil Producer In the World
  • 4 days Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 4 days Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 4 days Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 5 days Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 5 days TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 5 days Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 5 days Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 5 days Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 5 days Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 6 days OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 6 days Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 6 days Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 6 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 6 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 6 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 7 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 7 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 7 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 7 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 7 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 7 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 7 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 7 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 8 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan

Kenya to Investigate Potential of Geothermal Power

Kenya to Investigate Potential of Geothermal Power

Kenya, plagued by electricity shortages like many of its East African neighbors, has awarded Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corp. and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. contracts to build $420 million in new geothermal plants. The contracts for the Olkaria I and Olkaria IV geothermal power plants represent Kenya's largest ever geothermal plant project and are Toshiba's first African contracts for supplying geothermal power equipment.

The contracts further strengthen Japan's role in developing Kenya's geothermal power generation capacity. Toshiba was selected by Hyundai Engineering to supply the turbines and generators for the project.

The two Asian nations will build a new 140 megawatt geothermal plant and expand the capacity of existing facility to 185 megawatts from 45 megawatts.

During a contract signing ceremony in Nairobi Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said, "These projects mark the beginning of Kenya's journey to transform its energy sector and put the country on the path to green economic growth."

Toyota Tsusho Corp. and Hyundai Engineering Co. succeeded against four other bids that included Japanese Mitsubishi Corp., which had earlier been involved in a geothermal project in Olkaria.

Nyoike said that the country’s increased interest in geothermal power was in line with the government’s efforts to shift the country’s power generation mix towards being predominantly geothermal from its current reliance on electricity generated by hydroelectric power, which is prone to erratic weather.

The Olkaria I and Olkaria IV geothermal power plants are to be built in the Rift Valley, 65 miles northwest of Nairobi. When complete, the geothermal power plants will be the largest power generation complex in Kenya, increasing the share of geothermal power in Kenya's supply mix to approximately 25 percent. Eddy Njoroge, managing director of Kenya Electricity, told reporters, “We are hoping that by February 2014 we will have the first unit generating and by May 2014 we will have the second unit.” Njoroge added that next year the Kenyan national electrical grid would gain an additional 202 megawatts from a mix of geothermal power, renewable energy and rehabilitation of an existing hydropower dam.

Kenya is Africa’s first nation to drill for geothermal power and is seeking to tap the Rift Valley’s vast steam reserves.

Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, intends to spend up to $50 billion over the next two decades to meet the country’s rising electricity demands, which government officials estimate is rising at 13.5 percent per annum. Four months ago Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission said that it hopes to generate about 27 percent of the country’s electrical power from geothermal sources by 2031. Kenya's Rift Valley, in the western part of the country bordering Uganda, is currently estimated to contain a projected 7-10 gigawatts of geothermal power potential. The use of geothermal power worldwide has grown steadily over the last several decades, in 2010 reaching 10.7 gigawatts of global installed capacity.

Not resting on their laurels, Kenyan officials are in Tunisia to negotiate for additional funding to speed up the country’s geothermal energy projects. Kenyan Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike recently led a team of Energy Ministry and state-owned Geothermal Development Company officials on a visit to Tunis to solicit interest and funds for new geothermal sites in the Menengai area of Nakuru. Nyoike said “Our strategy is to focus in Menengai in order to sustain investor interest. We have some $187 million for steam development for Menengai from the World Bank.”

The French Development Bank has also pledged $120 million to the Geothermal Development Company which will arrive in January, with the Geothermal Development Company using the funds to drill 200 wells in the Baringo, Bogoria, Paka, Chepchuk, Korosi and Silale areas, along with another nine wells to be dug in the Olkaria fields. The cost of drilling a single geothermal well is estimated at $6.5 million, with supporting infrastructure costing an additional $8.5 million.

While not technically a "renewable" energy source in that its reserves might be depleted if not managed effectively, geothermal resources present a very clean, reliable and abundant source of energy. And if the earth’s core cools, Nairobi will probably have other more pressing issues to worry about.

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News