US Backs Tulu Moye Geothermal Plant


The United States Trade & Development Agency granted $1.1m




The United States Trade & Development Agency has thrown its support behind the Tulu Moye Geothermal project, the nation’s second geothermal plant.

The Agency awarded a grant of 1.1 million dollars to conduct a feasibility study for the first 50MW phase of the planned 520MW project.

The grant was made to TM Geothermal Operations Plc, a private Ethiopian company that signed a power purchasing agreement with the Ethiopian government last year.

The signing ceremony was held at Sheraton Addis on August 27, 2018, attended by Katherine Hinderdael, East African representative for the Agency, Darren Boyd, CEO of TM Geothermal, and Frehiwot W.Hanna (PhD), state minister of Water, Irrigation & Electricity.

TM Geothermal has selected Delphos International to carry out the feasibility study, Delphos is an American firm with experience in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

“The project is vital for the power sector in Ethiopia,” Frehiwot said. “We are expecting more firms to be involved in the sector to develop geothermal power.”

The Tulu Moye Project, located in the Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional State, is being developed jointly by the French company Meridiam SAS, the Iceland-based Reykjavik Geothermal and TM Geothermal.

The project is part of a larger agreement signed with the Ethiopian government to develop at least 1,000MW of geothermal capacity at a cost of two billion dollars.

The initial 50MW phase is expected to be finalised within two years, while the rest will come into operation by 2023.

“Beyond increasing power generation, we also know this effort will support the ability of key actors in Ethiopia’s power industry to identify strong, reliable partners in the private sector who can bring expertise, quality and value to energy projects and infrastructure investment,” said Troy Fitrell, charge d’affaires of the United States Embassy, at the Sheraton Addis ceremony.

The demand for electricity is growing across the country. In the 2016/17 fiscal year, over 12 billion kWh of electricity was generated, twice the amount registered half a decade ago. In the same period, the capacity of producing power has doubled to 4,300MW.

Reykjavik Geothermal, along with its partner, Meridiam, has conducted research and feasibility studies on Tulu Moye, as well as the Abaya geothermal project. Both projects are located in the East African Rift Valley, which has a capacity to produce 15,000 MW of geothermal power.

Ethiopia has an estimated potential of generating 45,000MW of hydropower, 10,000MW of geothermal energy and 1.3 million megawatts of wind power, according to Ethiopian Electric Power.



By DAWIT ASTATEKE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Sep 01,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 957]


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