Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) PLC has commenced drilling of the first of three geothermal wells in Djibouti setting in motion a Ksh.0.7 billion contract signed in February this year.
The drilling of the first well is expected to take about two months to complete as KenGen seeks to export the expertise and experience earned in Olkaria, Naivasha where the company has successfully drilled about 320 geothermal wells.
“This is a historic moment for us and we are confident that our team on-site will deliver the project within the contracted time and on budget despite the prevailing circumstances brought about by COVID-19 and security situation in neighbouring Ethiopia,” KenGen CEO, Rebecca Miano said while making the announcement.
She added that KenGen had assigned a specialised multiskilled team to the project in the Horn of Africa country comprised of mechanical Engineers, drilling Engineers, project managers, drillers, cementing technicians and specialized welders among other key professionals in the geothermal development value chain.
With the drilling rig set up, KenGen is set to commence drilling of three geothermal wells for the Djibouti Office of Geothermal Energy Development (ODDEG) over the next few months.
ODDEG Project Manager, Abdirasak Omar Moumin exuded confidence that KenGen would deliver the project as planned, adding that the Djiboutian team was looking forward to acquiring new knowledge from the Kenyan NSE-listed firm.
“We are happy with KenGen and learning a lot from the team on the ground. They have a long history and expertise in geothermal which makes them the best partners in implementing our geothermal dream,” said Mr. Moumin.
The Djiboutian venture is part of KenGen’s ambitious diversification strategy, in which the company is seeking to acquire new revenue streams by offering commercial drilling services, geothermal consulting, and other related services across Africa.
This is the third mega geothermal drilling contract that KenGen is implementing in Africa. In October 2019, the company secured a Ksh.5.8 billion contract to drill 12 geothermal wells in Ethiopia.
The contract with Ethiopia’s independent power producer Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations (TMGO) PLC includes installing a water supply system and equipment.
In February 2019, KenGen won a contract to drill geothermal wells for the Ethiopian Electric Company (EEP) in Aluto-Langano, Ethiopia.
The contract is for the implementation of drilling rigs and accessories as well as rig operation and maintenance for drilling geothermal wells. It is financed by the World Bank through a loan to the Ethiopian Government.