Image Credits : The launch event for the GDC Strategic Plan 2023-2037 (source: Geothermal Development Company) Visual for illustration purpose
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GDC launches 5-year plan for geothermal development in Kenya

Kenya’s state-owned geothermal developer Geothermal Development Company has launched its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan that outlines the company’s goals, initiatives, and vision for the next five years. The Strategic Plan was officially launched in a special event with GDC’s Board of Directors and top officials in attendance, as well as the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Hon. Davis Chirchir.

“Geothermal Energy remains our anchor portfolio. In our proposed Integrated National Energy Plan (INEP), geothermal’s centrality is well-defined. That is why GDC’s strategic plan is of particular interest to all of us,” said Chirchir during his speech.

The Cabinet Secretary further emphasized the contribution that geothermal has already made for the country. “Kenya’s energy mix today has about 92% from green sources, but geothermal contributes about 49%. This is something that we need to congratulate ourselves for, but we need to continue to accelerate the development of this asset.”

GDC CEO Paul Ngugi recounted the success that GDC has had so far in developing geothermal steam fields, “Our track record in establishing backable geothermal projects from green fields, and de-risking the sector, is well-established. Today, GDC has harnessed a total of 560 MW of steam.”

“Soon, we are going to take Kenya to the GW club of geothermal in the world. In the next two years, we are likely to be around 4,” added Ngugi.

Setting five-year goals

The 2023-2027 Strategy Plan is centered on a number of goals classified under geothermal resource development, mobilization of financial resources, stakeholder management, and strengthening of the company’s organizational capacity.

Over the next five years, GDC aims to harness an additional 218 MW of geothermal steam capacity. To achieve this, the plan is to drill an additional 57 wells. There are three power plants that are targeted for commercial operations – 2×35 MW power plants in Menengai, and 100 MW in Paka. Additionally, at least five direct-use projects should be established.

The geothermal resource development plan involves six fields, namely:

  • Paka
  • Silali
  • Korosi-Chepchuk
  • Suswa
  • Menengai Caldera
  • Menengai West

To fund the five-year plan, GDC will need an estimated budget of KSh 102.2 billion (approx. USD 802 million). GDC has several strategies to raise this amount. These include increasing steam sales, commercialization of direct-use projects, engagement in consultancy services, funding from the government, and investment and joint development with strategic partners.

The increase of revenue through proper and robust resource management and mobilization strategies is also part of the strategy. Thus, there is an emphasis on the elimination of resource leakages and the improvement of efficiency by leveraging technology.

GDC supports the national growth of Kenya by contributing to lowering the cost of power. Through geothermal operations and direct-use projects, GDC also aims to support micro-enterprises and improve the situation of food security. GDC will help in growing the digital economy by providing clean and stable power to data centers and playing a key role in the deployment of e-vehicles with affordable electricity supply.

Project updates

During his opening remarks, Paul Ngugi provided some important updates on the status of geothermal fields being developed by GDC.

The Menengai geothermal field is already contributing 35 MW of capacity to the power grid thru the first geothermal power plant by Sosian Power. Two more power plants will be developed in this field, with target commercial operations by 2025.

Several wells have already been drilled in the Paka field, and the steam capacity of the field is now at 70 MW. The feasibility study for the Paka field is currently ongoing. Meanwhile, the first well has been drilled in the Silali field.

Civil works have already started for the Suswa geothermal field, with roughly 10 kilometers of road already built. GDC has made preparations for joint development of the Suswa field with Indonesian geothermal giant PT Pertamina Geothermal.

 

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