Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Hon. Charles Keter has lauded GDC’s efforts of developing geothermal in the Baringo-Silali block. While on a technical inspection tour of the project, the CS singled out the success in the drilling of Paka Well One (PW-01) as a major “milestone” for the country.
“This is a big milestone for Kenya,” the elated CS said. “This success is a great opportunity towards cheaper power. It is also helping us to expand our base for renewable energy.”
“It is not easy to open up a new geothermal field but GDC has succeeded here. Therefore, I want to congratulate the company for this momentous achievement,” the minister said.
The Baringo-Silali Geothermal project is emerging as a key hub for renewable energy. The vast block spans three prospects namely Paka, Korosi and Silali. It is estimated to host a potential of 3000 MW. GDC will in the first phase develop 300MW – 100MW from each prospect.
The CS noted that it is in the government’s interest to pursue renewable energy such as geothermal in a bid to reduce the cost of energy, protect the environment and to attract investors into the country.
“The future of manufacturing and other national development agendas are pegged on availability of affordable and clean energy. That is our quest and commitment at the ministry of energy,” he said.
The Managing Director and CEO Eng. Johnson P. Ole Nchoe explained that one more rig will be deployed to the region to speed up drilling operations.
“Our effort of de-risking the geothermal sector is paying dividends. Once we are proving the viability of the resource, it becomes easier for private investors to inject their capital. That way we are going to accelerate the development of geothermal energy in Kenya,” Eng. Nchoe explained.
Geothermal energy is a key enabler of national development goals such as the Big 4 and Vision 2030.
The Baringo-Silali geothermal project is being supported by different development partners including the Government of Kenya, KfW of Germany, Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund (GRMF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and The Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEDA).
Meanwhile, during the tour, the CS also inspected a community water point that was constructed through GDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (SCR). The CS was pleasantly impressed that GDC has established 20 water points strategically spread across 160 kilometers. The water system has the capacity to provide 10,000 litres per hour.
GDC has also established water treatment plants across the community water pipeline. The water is treated using the reverse osmosis technology.
In the Baringo Silali geothermal block, there is plenty of water now – for people and for livestock.