A Zambian exploration company has recently announced the discovery of potential commercial geothermal energy deposits in the Bwengwa River region, Zambia.

Kalahari GeoEnergy has been exploring various areas for geothermal energy since 2010. The company implemented the ‘Bwengwa River geothermal target’ which includes the Bwanda, Gwisho and Namulula thermal springs which form part of the Kafue Trough, a 14 000 kilometre m2 area stretching over a sedimentary basin.

The research data recovered showed potential generation capacity of 10MW geothermal power, the figures were going to undergo further analysis to confirm this, Kalahari said in a statement.

The results showed that the fluids within the basin were 150 C and higher, providing a shallow, lateral reservoir which is ideal for commercial development. Experts at Kalahari Energy said that the geothermal gradient and reservoir geothermometers indicated optimal temperatures for geothermal power production.

The company will continue with its exploration assessments well into the second quarter of 2015 where they will commence drilling further wells to determine whether the area is favourable to conduct a feasibility study.geothermal energy

‘Data from drilling and testing of these wells will provide an evaluation of key resource parameters needed for a feasibility study’, Kalahari said in a statement.

CEO, Peter Vivian-Neal of Kalahari Energy said that:

‘Results provide further confidence that Bwengwa River has the characteristics for a commercially viable geothermal resource for power production. The company will continue exploration with the objective of defining the resource within the next year’.

Currently Zambia’s electrification rate remains low with less than 25 percent of the population having access to the centralised grid. If geothermal resources prove successful, this could significantly improve the economic development of the country as the expansion of electricity to households and businesses would be possible. The development of infrastructure to feed into remote areas would need further funding as well.

Regulatory plans are in place where the private sector is given prominence to drive production, transmission and export of power in Zambia.

Kalahari Energy is working towards achieving the status of Independent Renewable Energy Power Producer (IRPP) with the goal of transforming geothermal energy into a direct form of energy for local communities, Kalahari said in a statement.

(Pic credits: Renewable energy world)