Kenya signs deal with New Zealand, AU to boost its geothermal sector

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Olkaria, Kenya - October 08: A High voltage power line next to a geothermal pool with steam in the KenGen or Kenya General Energy Olkaria geothermal power station area in Hells´s Gate National Park on October 08, 2017 in Olkaria, Kenya. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A High voltage power line next to a geothermal pool with steam in the KenGen or Kenya General Energy Olkaria geothermal power station area in Hells´s Gate National Park in Olkaria, Kenya. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Kenya on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Arrangement (MOA) with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the African Union Commission (AUC) to boost the country’s geothermal sector.

Jared Othieno, CEO, state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC) said Kenya is set to benefit from a 76 million shillings (692,000 U.S. dollars) New Zealand-Africa Geothermal Facility (NZ-AGF) to expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy through the increased use of geothermal energy resources.

The NZ-AGF is being implemented under the New Zealand and the African Union Commission Partnership Arrangement and seeks to provide technical assistance and capacity building services to help alleviate barriers to geothermal development. And it aims to improve understanding and regulation of geothermal resources and to help progress, de-risk and secure financing for geothermal development.

Kenya’s geothermal resources are estimated at between 7,000 Megawatts and 10,000 MW.

Othieno added that the financial support will strengthen Kenya’s technical and managerial capacities to undertake geothermal steam operations at the Menengai Geothermal Field.

He said the facility will provide GDC with technical assistance in the areas of steam-field operational management, geoscience and reservoir management, compliance processes and sustainable field development.

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