Kenya gets $5 million grant for geothermal exploration from African Union

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Olkaria, Kenya - October 08: Steam-Tubes at environmentally friendly and renewable energy generation in the KenGen or Kenya General Energy Olkaria geothermal power station II (two) in Hells´s Gate National Park on October 08, 2017 in Olkaria, Kenya. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Kenya’s state-owned Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) on Wednesday confirmed that it has secured 549 million shillings (about $5 million) from the African Union to commence exploration of the Paka Geothermal Project in Baringo in northwest Kenya.

FILE PHOTO: Steam-Tubes at environmentally friendly and renewable energy generation in the KenGen Olkaria geothermal power station II in Hell’s Gate National Park in Olkaria, Kenya. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

GDC managing director and CEO Jared Othieno said the 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,” Othieno said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The move follows the signing of an agreement for the geothermal risk mitigation facility grant with the African Union.

Othieno said the funding will go towards the cost of the exploration drilling program for the Paka Geothermal Project in Baringo.

The deal is expected to support 40 percent of the total drilling cost (drilling and testing program) and 20 percent of the total infrastructure development (infrastructure upgrade) cost of the project.

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 program in the area – north of the equator within Kenya’s East African Rift System.

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