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Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is set to provide geothermal drilling services to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), following the awarding of the contract in December 2018.

The signing ceremony took place over the weekend and was attended by KenGen’s CEO Rebecca Miano, as well as EEP’s CEO Dr Abraham Belay, reports Capital FM.

Miano said the award will bolster the company’s diversification strategy. “As we extend our services to Ethiopia, we are leveraging on our expertise, in-depth knowledge of the African Rift Valley and close to four decades of successful drilling experience,” she noted.

Also speaking during the signing ceremony, Belay highlighted that Ethiopia had tried to venture into geothermal development back in the 1980’s but is yet to make a commercial breakthrough.

“Currently we have some geothermal drilling rigs that are idle and now broken down and therefore the need to purchase new ones,” he said adding, “we will be delighted to have you build the capacity of our people to be able to manage the equipment and run the power plants even after you exit the sites.”

Drilling geothermal wells

The contract, which is for the implementation of drilling rigs and accessories as well as rig operation and maintenance for drilling geothermal wells at Aluto, is being financed by the World Bank through a loan to the Ethiopian government.

The project will be implemented in two phases; phase I which is purchase of drilling rigs and Phase II which entails provision of drilling services.

KenGen is supplying about 30% of the component of Phase II which translates to about $6.2 million. Read more: KenGen wins East Africa’s best sustainable power producer

Miano highlighted: “Everywhere you go in the world, green energy is the future. As KenGen, we are alive to the need to provide renewable energy services to minimise and maintain low carbon footprints. We are glad we are doing exactly that by offering drilling services to EEP for geothermal energy.”