Reykjavík Geothermal, a company from Iceland is in negotiations to develop the Corbetti Geothermal Power Project in southern Ethiopia and sell the power to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo).
EEPCo had been trying to negotiate a power purchasing agreement (PPA) with several local and foreign companies but their asking price was to high “This was the main factor the previous deals failed,” sources explained. They added that even though everything has not been finalized this deal looks hopeful.
Reykjavík Geothermal say they have made significant progress in geothermal power development in Corbetti. USD 4.5 million has been put into geothermal exploration licenses, detailed geological, geochemical and geophysical feasibility surveys, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan all of which have come up with positive results.
The government is planning to increase the country’s power generation capacity by identifying and developing geothermal resources in prospect areas. The government plans to generate 450MW by 2019 and 1,000MW by 2030 from geothermal energy. The Great Rift Valley is estimated to have a high potential for geothermal power. Studies indicate that Ethiopia could produce up to 5,000mw of electricity through its geothermal energy resources.
Aluto Langano is the only geothermal site in the country developed in the 1990’s, which put out around 7.3 MW when it was installed. Additional geothermal development is expected to commence in the coming month that will develop 35 to 75 MW of energy at a similar field in Langano. Hopes are that the Corbetti Geothermal Power Project will be able to produce 300 MW. In 2016 they expect to be able to produce 100MW with 100 additional MW in each subsequent year. The Ethiopian Electric Corporation has an ambitious plan to develop 10,000 MW of power by 2015.
Founded in 2008, Reykjavík Geothermal acquired geothermal exploration licenses covering an area of more than 650sqm in Southern Ethiopia. According to Reykjavík within that area, RG´s scientists have researched an area of 200sqm in which temperatures up to 350°C have been identified, indicating a potential of 500-1,000 MW.
Reykjavík Geothermal established operations to evaluate geothermal energy in East Africa. They initially set up a subsidiary in Ethiopia and a joint venture with a local partner in Tanzania. The company has also carried out a feasibility study in Kenya and entered negotiations with authorities on the development of geothermal energy in the country.