Steam field equipment at the Paka geothermal site, Kenya (source: GDC website)
GDC has announced that drilling will begin on the third test well at the Korosi geothermal site as the previous two wells heat up in preparation for drainage tests.
The Kenya-based Geothermal Development Company (GDC) announced via its official blog that the drilling for the third test well (KW-03) for the planned geothermal site in Korosi has already started. The first and second of the three boreholes, Korosi Well 01 (KW-01) and Korosi Well 02 (KW-02) have been completed and are preparing for a discharge test.
We previously reported on the KW-02 drilling. Korosi, together with Paka and Silali, comprises the Baringo-Silali geothermal project, which has an enormous geothermal potential of up to 3000 MW.
Stephen Kangogo, chief engineer at the drilling operations, is optimistic about the project’s imminent success and is confident that the KW-03 drilling will produce positive results.
“Based on our experience of drilling the Paka prospectus, we are confident that here at Korosi we will successfully discover the resource from our exploration wells. The rock formation of this block corresponds more or less to that of Paka, as does the permeability. All of these indicators point to a repeat of our successes in the recently completed Paka field, ”explained Kangogo.
The Korosi and Paka exploration wells mark a major milestone for GDC and the country. First, it opens a new frontier for the further development of the industry. Second, it is an important step towards establishing geothermal energy as the main energy source for the grid, and third, it heralds a new era of affordable and environmentally friendly base load energy for Kenyans.
John Lagat, North Rift Regional Manager, says the Baringo-Silali project will be developed entirely through GDC’s in-house expertise. “Right now we’re averaging $ 3.5 million per well. This is below the global average of $ 5 to 7 million, ”said Lagat.
In addition, the Korosi geothermal project gives the GDC a fresh boost in resource mobilization as it fits well into the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund (GRMF) of the African Union Commission (AUC). This is part of AUC’s endeavor to establish geothermal energy as a strategic option for expanding power generation capacities as it pushes for greenhouse gas emissions reductions towards environmental sustainability.
“Geothermal energy is base load electricity with the highest reliability compared to other renewable energies such as hydropower, sun and wind. At around 8.8 US cents per kilowatt hour, it is the cheapest source of electricity when used against solar or wind power, which costs 11-12 US cents per kilowatt hour in the country, ”said Joseph Mutahi, chief officer, corporate planning and strategy.
This will enable GDC to benefit from GRMF funding through the development of the Korosi project and the larger Baringo-Silali block. It is a new geothermal field that elevates GDC’s status locally and regionally as a leader in supporting the production of low cost green energy to support industrial growth in Kenya and address the current global greenhouse gas challenge.
Source: Geothermal Development Company