Kenyan Gov't Invests in Geothermal Future


"Kenya will prioritize geothermal power to achieve its 15,000MW target."

Nairobi Star, Irene Wairimu

Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi announced Kenya will prioritize the exploration of geothermal power to achieve its 15,000MW target.

The ministry noted that various sites in Rift Valley province alone had the potential of producing up to 10,000MW.

Kiraitu made the statement after a tour of the Menengai Crater geothermal power plant. He said that the government would invest up to Sh60 billion by 2014 to produce 400 MW at the plant. "This is an area which my ministry has focused on and the necessary funding is already in place," the minister said noting that close to Sh46 billion was ready to be disbursed to the Menengai project's first phase to generate 400 MW of power.

He said that Kenya's over-reliance on hydro-electric power continues to hurt the economy due to erratic weather and the high cost of generation. He said that the Geothermal Development Company would soon be opening up the sector to private entities to attract development capital to meet the increasing demand. "Previously, private sector participation was hindered by the expensive nature of exploration which is why as a government we undertook to shoulder this risk in order to reduce costs for producing this energy," he said. Kiraitu further announced that the government will buy two additional rigs to help GDC fast track its exploration process.

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