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GDC to increase power generation

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Geothermal Development Company (GDC) will in the next 10 years increase geothermal power generation by exploring the untapped wells in the country.

The company’s Strategy and Innovation General Manager Dr George Muya said the company targets to generate a total of 1065mw from various fields.

The fields, he explained, include South Rift (300mw), Menengai (465mw) and Baringo-Silari (300Mw) as part of the ambitious multi-billion programme.

Muya added that GDC had drilled 40 wells at Menengai area all with a capacity of producing 162mw.

He added that the company was working with the Independent Power Producers (IPP)take up the electricity for distribution.

Muya was speaking during the launch of Africa Geothermal Centre for Excellence in Naivasha.

The manager said the centre was in the process of training 22 young people from 11 African countries on geothermal exploration and drilling in a move aimed at increasing the number of geothermal experts in the African region.

“This centre will churn out more experts and scientists in geothermal field and we are working closely with KenGen in training these young scientists,” he said.

KenGen Performance and Training manager Beatrice Kandie said her company was committed to increasing geothermal power to 2,500mw by 2025.

Kandie noted that currently, geothermal accounted for 534mw of the total 1631mw of the power that KenGen was producing from various power sources.

She explained that Hydro power was the leading producer of electricity at 820mw followed by geothermal with 534mw while wind power accounts for 26mw in the country.

Kandie noted that geothermal power was clean and more reliable compared to wind and hydro ones.

She added that there was need to train more geothermal experts to handle the power process, adding the government had invested heavily in geothermal power.

An energy expert from African Union (AU) Philippe Niyongabo said the organisation had set aside Ksh 8 billion (US$80 million) as grants towards 26 geothermal projects in 11 countries in Africa.

Niyongabo identified Kenya and Ethiopia as the main beneficiaries of the grant which would be used in capacity building, geothermal exploration and construction of infrastructure.


 He added that AU was also supporting the centre of excellence as it would boost the energy sector by training more young scientists with energy and capacity to work in geothermal fields.

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