- The drilling in Ethiopia started last year but was suspended due to Covid-19
- The drilling of the first well is expected to take about two months
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) has started drilling geothermal wells in Djibouti after a couple of months of a successful trial.
The company that has been contracted by the Djiboutian Office of Geothermal Energy Development (ODDEG) exuded confidence that the exercise would be successful.
Kengen has been contracted by the neighboring country to drill three geothermal wells at a cost of Sh0.7 billion.
According to Kengen MD Rebecca Miano, the drilling was a major milestone for the company which had invested heavily in training its staff.
“This is a historic moment and we are confident that our team will deliver the project within the contracted time and on budget despite the prevailing circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and the security situation in Ethiopia,’ she said.
In a statement carried in the company’s weekly report, Miano was confident that their staff would deliver the project in time as they had enough expertise in the field.
“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,” she said.
The move comes barely a week after the power generator announced that it had completed drilling the deepest geothermal well in the Auto-Langano project in Ethiopia at a depth of 3,000m.
According to Kengen Acting Geothermal Development director Peketsa Mangi, the new well stood at 3,000 meters, surpassing their target of 2,750 meters.
While praising the staff undertaking the project, Mangi noted that this was the second well to be successfully drilled under their agreement with the Ethiopia Electric Power Company (EEP).
“We are happy to see our teams deliver the same level of success in the Horn of Africa where they have drilled a geothermal well to depths of 3,000m,” he said in the company’s statement.
He said that this was the second of the eight wells that the company has been contracted to drill by the Ethiopian power company.
The Djibouti project is the third mega geothermal drilling contract that KenGen is implementing in the continent.
In October 2019, the company secured a Sh5.8B contract with Ethiopia’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) to drill 12 geothermal wells in Tulu Moye.
In February 2019, KenGen won a contract to drill geothermal wells for the Ethiopian Electric Company (EEP) in Aluto-Langano, Ethiopia.
The contract financed by the World Bank is for the implementation of drilling rigs and accessories as well as rig operation and maintenance for drilling geothermal wells.