Kenya’s state-owned Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) has secured a $5 million grant from the African Union (AU) for geothermal exploration of the Paka Geothermal Project in Baringo.
According to GDC Managing Director and CEO, Jared Othieno, the funding will go towards the cost of the exploration drilling, and is expected to support 40% of the total drilling cost (drilling and testing program) and 20% of the total infrastructure development (infrastructure upgrade) cost of the project.
“The Paka Geothermal Project is an integral component of GDC’s strategic plan, where the company envisions the development of 1,065MW from geothermal sources by 2030. Of this, approximately 100MW will be sourced from the Paka Geothermal Project,” GDC, Managing Director and CEO Eng. Jared O. Othieno said.
The Baringo-Silali Geothermal Project has an estimated geothermal potential of 3,000MW.
Under the agreement, GDC will drill two deep geothermal wells and upgrade the existing infrastructure to allow further development of the geothermal resource in the Project area.
The project which is in the vast Baringo – Silali Geothermal province is part of the first geothermal drilling programme in the area – north of the equator within Kenya’s East African Rift System. The project is situated 25km north of Lake Baringo and approximately 120km south of the largest desert lake, L. Turkana.
Currently, the country’s energy mix comprises geothermal (29%), hydro (29%), wind (12%), solar and others (2%) and thermal (28%). The East Africa rift system has geothermal potential 15,000 MW – of which has Kenya boast an estimated 10,000 MW of that.