Rwanda passes a major milestone: drilling begins. Meanwhile, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Uganda are moving forward. In Kenya, the Maasai community is seeking a proper role in potential geothermal production.
Djibouti: Geothermal Momentum Continues
On a July 22 meeting between Djiboutian Minister of Energy in charge of Natural Resources Ali Yacoub Mahamoud and Libyan officials, energy cooperation was discussed, with Djibouti focusing on geothermal in its energy goals. The Libyan delegation was led by Deputy Secretary-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saeed Ibrahim al-Khattali and OiLibya East Africa Regional Manager Elmarini Kashim (Allafrica.com). The African Development Group (AfDB) recently announced a $7.5 million contribution to the Lake Assal geothermal feasibility project, which World Bank is also supporting (see GEA’s July 11 2013 issue). It will be the first exploration financed by the World Bank in almost 20 years.
Kenya: Maasai Community Claims Land
Political and religious leaders leading 2,000 members of the Maasai community are seeking compensation for potential geothermal energy generated on spiritual land in Narok County. The developer is Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen). “Since colonial times we have been marginalized and oppressed and we shall seek compensation and justice,” Narok East MP Lemanken Aramat was quoted in local press, along with other leaders noting about 3,610 acres held by KenGen on Kedong Ranch may rightfully belong to the community. Standardmedia.co.ke
Rwanda: Karisimbi Drilling Begins
The Rwanda government has begun drilling for geothermal energy at its Mount Karisimbi site. “What a milestone for Rwanda Energy sector the drilling for geothermal energy started at Karisimbi today at 7am,” Silas Lwakabamba, Minister of Infrastructure said July 18 via Twitter. The Karisimbi geothermal project is one of four geothermal prospects in Rwanda; the other three locations are Kinigi in Musanze, Gisenyi in Rubavu and Bugarama in Rusizi. The project will also serve for on-site education for Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) of Rwanda employees attending training by Iceland GeoSurvey scientists. Geothermal.energy-business-review.com; Allafrica.com; See also GEA’s March 8 2013 issue.
Tanzania: Symbion Signs for Geothermal
Symbion, a founding partner of Power Africa, has signed a new agreement for geothermal power in Tanzania. “We were honored that President Barack Obama chose the Symbion Power Plant to announce Power Africa on his recent visit to Tanzania,” said Paul Hinks, Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Power. Ormat Technologies will be involved, noted Allafrica.com
Uganda: Geothermal can Supply Needed Electricity
Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen)’s Senior operations manager Henry Wesula says geothermal power, as has been applied in Kenya, will have great benefits for Uganda as well, as it seeks to become industrialized. Uganda has been unable to maintain supply of electricity to match demand, while a geophysical survey by KenGen estimated 400 MW of untapped geothermal energy. “We already know that Sudan and Egypt are against building dams along the Nile, in the event of a problem there will be no other source of energy for Uganda,” Wesula said adding, “Any country that wants to be industrialized can’t afford to have power rationing.” Monitor.co.ug