Ethiopia, Kenya get $5m energy grant from GRMF

By: Apa 
March 4, 2014 a

Ethiopia and Kenya on Monday secured a $5 million grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) for Eastern Africa to develop renewable energy and reduce cost in the use of fuel to generate electricity. The GRMF established by the African Union Commission (AUC) had agreed to give Kenya, already the world’s ninth largest geothermal power producer $4.25 million to generate 200 MW in Bogoria-Silali area, in line with its ambition to become geothermal energy power block.

Silas Simiyu of Geothermal Development Company who signed for Kenya in Addis Ababa said geothermal currently accounts for 13.5 percent of the country’s power mix, while hydropower accounts for 44.5 percent, making the country a renewable energy leader, with power supply being intermittently applied, particularly during droughts, when hydropower production drops.

The State-owned Geothermal Development Company had secured approvals for three projects including the 300MW of geothermal capacity at Suswa, about 55 km from Nairobi and Longonot underway, the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure, Elham Ibrahim had said at the signing ceremony.

Ethiopia, whose 90 per cent energy source is through Hydro, also secured $976.872 to conduct a study at its Dofan and Cobetti areas in the northern region of the country, as it is set to sign another $5.6 million agreement with the same body in the next two weeks to develop 300 MW.

Ethiopia’s State Minister for Mines, Tewodros Egziabher, while signing the document said his country had the prospects of generating 10,000 MW from geothermal energy from 22 identified potential areas.

The AUC established the facility in 2009 with collaboration from the European Union (EU) and Germany.

The AUC said it was processing the second phase of the applications for the facility from the 11 benefitting countries in the region, including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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