KenGen, Kenya’s biggest electricity producer, has signed an estimated Ksh 709,822, 630 (USD 6,452,933) deal with Office Djiboutien De Development De lenergie Geothermique (Djiboutian Office of Geothermal Energy Development) (ODDEG) to drill three geothermal wells, the company said on Thursday.
The signing ceremony, in Galla Le Koma, Djibouti, was attended by Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Charles Keter, and KenGen Managing Director & CEO, Mrs Rebecca Miano.
Keter pointed out that African nations shared the common aspiration of delivering electricity to their people, which, he said, provided an opportunity to work together to meet the continent’s energy needs.
“The biggest challenge has remained access (to electricity) in remote areas, and in Sub-Saharan Africa with 573 million people not having access to this important commodity. Although energy access policies have continued to bear fruit, with 2019 data showing tremendous progress, we have seen the Coronavirus pandemic reverse the gains. We can only remain optimistic that things will change in 2021,” the CS said.
While highlighting Kenya’s progress in achieving universal electricity access, he indicated that the country’s National Electrification Strategy (KNES) launched in 2018 had played an important role in helping the nation achieve electrification in an economically viable manner.
Kenya has geothermal energy potential of 10,000MW along the Rift Valley with the resource being harnessed in 23 sites
This is the third geothermal drilling contract that KenGen has won in Africa.
In October 2019, the company secured a Ksh 5.8 billion contract to drill 12 geothermal wells in Ethiopia. The contract with an independent power producer includes installing a water supply system and equipment.
In February 2019, KenGen won yet another contract for consultancy services and drilling geothermal wells. The contract is worth USD 76,801,344 (about Kshs 7.6 billion). It has also developed partnerships with Ethiopia and Rwanda in renewable energy development.