by Peter Orengo
The main electricity generating company in Kenya, KenGen, has spread its strength going into eight other countries where it stands to scoop some impressive deals.
After Ethiopia where KenGen, the state-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company, won a contract for geothermal infrastructure tenders, another eight targets are lined up.
Officials have said KenGen is eyeing geothermal deals in Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Zambia and Comoros to boost revenues.
The African states, which share Kenya’s favourable and geothermal rich Rift Valley geology, are playing catch up in their efforts to exploit the renewable and cheap geothermal energy.
Heads of government and top officials from the eight African countries have already been hosted at KenGen’s plants in Naivasha or are set to visit as talks continue on the deals.
“We have ready capacity to help these countries exploit their geothermal resources. We are already doing this for Ethiopia and we are in talks with these countries on how to collaborate with them,” said Cyrus Karingithi, the assistant manager, resource development and infrastructure at the KenGen in an interview with Business Daily.
Last October, KenGen said it has reached an agreement with an independent power producer (IPP), Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations located in the eastern region of Ethiopia, to drill wells and offer geo-scientific survey.
Under the deal, KenGen which sunk its first exploratory well in 1956, will provide geo-scientific survey and drilling eight geothermal wells. A geothermal well costs about Sh650 million.
The Ugandan minister for Energy Mary Kitutu is expected to visit KenGen’s Olkaria plants for further talks.