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Geothermal power firm gets Sh1.3bn grant for six wells.

figure By BONFACE OTIENO Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is set to receive Sh1.3 billion grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) to drill six wells in Baringo County.The grant will be used to fund 40 per cent of the costs associated with the drilling of two geothermal wells in three prospects in the county.

About 20 per cent of the total costs will, however, be incurred during the development of requisite infrastructural work.The Baringo-Silali Geothermal Project covers three geothermal prospects Silali, Paka and Korosi from which GDC is looking to produce 300MW by 2030."We have reviewed GDC's application, which has met all the requirements and has been approved," said Mr Sylvain Degolmal, marketing expert GRMF, African Union Commission, in a statement.

"The next step is for GDC to give us a date and venue for the signing," he said.GRMF is a risk mitigation facility set up in 2012 by the African Union Commission (AUC).

The other members of the facility include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ), the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU ITF) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).Its key mandate is to encourage the development of geothermal energy sources in East Africa by removing the high upfront costs associated with infrastructure development in green-fields and initial exploratory drilling in geothermal fields.

On Tuesday, representatives from the facility reported that they had reviewed GDC's application, which has met all the requirements and has been approved."The next step is for GDC to give us a date and venue for the signing," said Mr Degolmal, who was leading the GRMF delegation.

GDC committed to expedite and get the requisite approvals to the signing of the grant contract in a bid to fast-track the development of their Baringo-Silali geothermal project. Eng Johnson ole Nchoe, GDC's managing director and chief executive officer, who led a team of his senior management to the meeting outlined the importance of the geothermal resource as a baseload in the Kenyan energy mix.

He noted that the impact of the GRMF support would be felt not only locally but also in the larger East African region where the resource exists in abundance but is largely untapped.

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Feb 24, 2019
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