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Thanks to long-lasting, safe, reliable plants, geothermal energy is increasingly low risk and brimming with untapped potential. It is silent, always available, has little impact on the landscape and is versatile. It can even be used for cooling and creates more jobs than any other green energy.

Just a few kilometers beneath our feet lies enough energy to potentially meet all of humanity’s requirements. It is the energy of the Earth’s own heat. While it still plays a marginal role in the world energy scene, it may yet become one of the protagonists of the energy transition to green sources.

Geothermal energy shares many of the advantages of most other renewables. For instance, compared to traditional thermoelectric stations powered by fossil fuels like coal, it produces less carbon dioxide, particulate matter and other toxic substances that create the greenhouse effect, which contributes to climate change. Using this underground energy allows us to reduce our use of fossil fuels and can help us to achieve energy self-sufficiency. Geothermal energy is also in line with sustainable developmentand is essentially free once the planthas been installed. There is no doubt either that recent history has taught us that both the performance and efficiency of renewable plants are improving year after year.

Unlike the sources we have encountered thus far, geothermal energy has certain characteristics that set it apart from other renewables such as windsolar and hydroelectric power. Below is a 10-point summary that demonstrates why the natural heat below the Earth’s surface still has huge potential to become one of the protagonists of the energy sector of the future.  

 

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The African Union Commission (AUC) through its Department of Infrastructure & Energy and TM Geothermal Energy PLC (TMGO) signed a GRMF Grant Contract for the Tulu Moye Drilling Programme. The total grant amounts to USD 9,990,279 for co-financing the total cost estimated to USD 26.2 million for the exploration Drilling Programme.

 

The Agreement was signed by the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, and the CEO of TMGO Mr. Darrell Boyd. The AUC’s Project Manager for the GRMF, Mr. Atef Marzouk, and the Principal Energy Expert, Mr. Sylvain Degolmal, congratulate TMGO to this achievement:

We would like to congratulate Tulu Moye Geothermal Energy PLC (TMGO) for achieving this milestone. Furthermore, AUC as the project executing agency for GRMF, plays the key role in the harmonization and coordination of geothermal energy exploration and development in East Africa. Therefore, seeing more drilling as the one going on actually in Tulu Moye, Ethiopia is very encouraging. AUC and its partners KfW, BMZ, EU Africa ITF and FCDO (former DFID), would like to reiterate their commitment to fund bankable geothermal projects with respect to GRMF Financial scheme across East Africa region. We are confident that TMGO with this grant will take the project to the next stage closer to power generation.

 

The Tulu Moye Drilling Programme is located about 140 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa in the Oromia Regional State, with Lake Koka to the north and Lake Ziway to the south. Three wells are being funded to explore the Gnaro lava field. The Drilling Programme is a continuation of a Surface Study, which received funding within the second GRMF application round.

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Seven drilling companies have been shortlisted for the drilling contract for the Corbetti geothermal power project in Ethiopia, Africa, as announced by Corbetti geothermal, the project developer.

Geothermal developer Corbetti Geothermal PLC just released the results of the Pre-Qualification round for the provision of drilling services and material for 26 geothermal wells in the Corbetti caldera in Ethiopia. The companies participating the ongoing tender represent some of the strongest drilling companies in the world and the result shows strong international interest in geothermal development in East Africa. The successful companies are in alphabetical order the following:

  1. Baker Hughes – TSAVO Oilfield Services Limited and Parker Drilling (Consortium)
  2. Great Wall Drilling Company
  3. Grey Wolf Drilling
  4. Iceland Drilling Company
  5. KenGen
  6. Marriot Drilling
  7. Schlumberger

Corbetti Geothermal is looking forward to continuing the tender process and expects tenders to be submitted before the end of the year and an agreement signed shortly after New Year to allow drilling to start in early 2021.

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U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed $1.55 million in technical development for the Tulu Moye Geothermal Power Plant Project in Ethiopia. DFC’s grant will enable project development and accelerate the schedule to design the 50-megawatt geothermal power plant. When completed, the project will be the country’s first Independent Power Project and one of the largest geothermal power plants in Ethiopia, a country with substantial untapped geothermal resources that can provide significant baseload power.

“DFC will help to shape the design of the project by utilizing one of our new development tools: technical assistance,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “This project will help Ethiopia to tap a critical resource for its economic growth.”

Ethiopian company TM Geothermal Operations PLC (TMGO) is developing the Tulu Moye project, which is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa. DFC’s technical development would provide funding for up to $1.55 million for project development. After development is completed, DFC would evaluate additional financing for implementation. If TMGO receives implementation financing from DFC or any other financier, TMGO will pay back the full amount of the technical development funding.

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