geothermal power
Presentation of the Karthala project with the Vice President of the Comoros, IRENA meeting 2016. source: ThinkGeoEnergy
Presentation of the Karthala project with the Vice President of the Comoros, IRENA meeting 2016. source: ThinkGeoEnergy

A recent study has concluded that the Karthala Geothermal Project on the Comoros Islands off the coast of Africa, presents favourable conditions of the exploitation of high-temperature geothermal energy to power generation.

Studies imply a potential for 40-45MW electricity generation capacity, Think Geoenergy reported. From the Karthala volcano, the country benefits exploitable geothermal resources for electricity generation, media reported.

Not only did the study confirm the commercial opportunities of the untapped thermal resource, it highlighted the significant impact it would have on driving economic growth and development.

This project was announced at the recently held IRENA General Assembly and a meeting of the Global Geothermal Alliance.

Karthala Geothermal Project finance

According to Think Geoenergy, the project has been financially supported by the African Union under the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) with $8.2 million and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with $6.6 million.

Media added that the Government of New Zealand confirmed support for the project of $4 million. Together, these partners have been able to provide $18 million to start the drilling phase of the project.

The project still seeks $27 million. “The Comorian Government is therefore implementing a strategy to mobilise technical and financial resources in order to ensure the establishment of a strong partnership around the project in order to guarantee the implementation of the second phase of this initiative,” Think Geoenergy reported.

Karthala Geothermal Project benefits

In September 2014, the Government of the Comoros, the Government of New Zealand and  the UN Development Programme (UNDP) decided to join forces to support the project.

“With the positive results of the studies conducted last year, a full business plan has been completed and environmental studies and preliminary work on the scoping and design of site access and services is underway.

“The Karthala Geothermal Project in Grande Comore is now moving to an exploration drilling programme,” Think Geoenergy said.

Exploratory drilling will confirm the resource and sites for the plant’s production and installation drilling.