Ethiopia’s Tulu Moye geothermal power project gets a US grant
Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Charles Keter, has emphasised the need for innovation and capacity building in geothermal development.

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed $1.55 million in technical development for the Tulu Moye geothermal power project in Ethiopia.

DFC’s grant will enable project development and accelerate the schedule to design the 50MW geothermal power plant. When completed, the project will be the country’s first Independent Power Project and one of the largest geothermal power plants in Ethiopia, a country with substantial untapped geothermal resources that can provide significant baseload power.

“DFC will help to shape the design of the project by utilising one of our new development tools: technical assistance,” said DFC’s chief executive officer, Adam Boehler. “This project will help Ethiopia to tap a critical resource for its economic growth.”

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Ethiopian company TM Geothermal Operations PLC (TMGO) is developing the Tulu Moye geothermal power project, which is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa. DFC’s technical development would provide funding for up to $1.55 million for project development.

After the development is completed, DFC would evaluate additional financing for implementation. If TMGO receives implementation financing from DFC or any other financier, TMGO will pay back the full amount of the technical development funding.

DFC highlighted that its technical development builds upon long-term US Government support for the Ethiopian power sector, including Power Africa, the US Embassy in Ethiopia, the US Trade and Development Agency, and the US Department of the Treasury.

The Tulu Moye project is one of the first instances of DFC using its new technical development tool provided in the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. DFC grants for technical development, including feasibility studies and technical assistance, are designed to support potential and existing DFC financing and insurance investments and increase the impact of those investments.