Tanzania to commence geothermal project this month

TANZANIA: TANZANIA will start drilling geothermal wells this month to determine the available geothermal resources before beginning power generation.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Dr Doto Biteko, revealed this after visiting geothermal power sources and plants in Naivasha Town, Nakuru County, Kenya.

“We have visited the geothermal power plants owned by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and have seen the progress they have made in developing this resource, as they are currently generating over 799 megawatts of geothermal power,” said Dr Biteko.

He mentioned that Tanzania has already allocated funds for geothermal development and that KenGen will be in the Mbeya Region in April to start drilling geothermal sources in the Ngozi and Kiejo-Mbaka area in partnership with the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company Limited (TGDC).

Dr Biteko also commended KenGen for their significant progress in geothermal energy, as over 60 per cent of Kenya’s electricity is generated from this resource.

He noted that Tanzania is focusing on increasing its electricity generation sources, with a particular emphasis on developing geothermal projects to meet the energy needs of the population.

Peketsa Mangi, the General Manager of Geothermal Development at KenGen, mentioned the good cooperation between Kenya and Tanzania in advancing geothermal development.

He expressed gratitude to the Tanzanian government for allowing KenGen to work with TGDC experts in drilling wells to assess the nation’s geothermal resources, stating that the company is ready to carry out the necessary tasks effectively.

Dr Biteko was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Energy, Engineer Felchesmi Mramba, the High Commissioner of Tanzania to Kenya, Dr Bernard Kibesse, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Corporation, Stephen Byabato and the Director of Tanzania Electricity Supply Company Limited (TANESCO), Engineer Gissima Nyamo-Hanga.

Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy derived from the Earth’s core, generated by the planet’s original formation and the decay of radioactive materials.

This thermal energy is stored in rocks and fluids at the centre of the Earth. Reports indicate that KenGen began drilling its first well in Djibouti in November 2021 after securing a contract worth Ksh 709 million (4.9 million US Dollars) in February of that year.

In the same year, the Kenyan firm also secured contracts for drilling wells and providing consultancy services in Ethiopia.

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