By Shu’aibu Adamu
The African Union Commission (AUC), has announced plans to drill two geothermal reservoir confirmation wells in Kenya after securing a six million dollar grant from a Kenya based Africa Geothermal International limited (AGIL).
This is contained in a statement by the AUC Information and Communication Unit on Thursday in Addis Ababa.
Africa Geothermal International Ltd. (AGIL) is a private sector geothermal energy producer, licenced for drilling that covers an area of 132 km around Mount Longonot, near Nairobi Kenya.
The grant will enable the Commission meet the infrastructure requirements needed for co-financing of the project the Commission’s European partners through the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF).
The statement said that the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Elham Ibrahim signed for AUC, while AGIL was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Fassine Fofana.
The agreement was signed on Nov. 27 in Nairobi, Kenya, the statement said.
“The AUC has entered into an agreement for financial support totaling 6 million dollars to drill two reservoir confirmation wells at the AGIL’s Longonot geothermal prospect located in Kenya.
“The signing ceremony was held at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya on November 27. ’’
The Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund via KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW), on the other side, established the GRMF in 2012 to help geothermal developments in Africa.
The GRMF Programme with 50 million EUR (about 62 million dollars) available for funding was established to co-finance surface studies and drilling projects aimed at developing indigenous and renewable energy resource in five countries within the East Africa region.
The GRMF managers said based on the great interest in the first application round, the programme, which originally targeted five countries of the region, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, has now been extended to include 11 countries of the region.
The AUC had established the GRMF to encourage public and private investors (project developers) to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa by providing cost sharing grants for surface studies and drilling of reservoir confirmation wells.
The Commission said the plan was part of efforts to fast track energy development in Africa and regional integration as well as corporation among AU member states.