The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has made significant progress in phase one of a key power generation project in Baringo County.
Phase one of the Baringo-Silale Geothermal block is expected to supply 300 megawatts of electricity to the national grid on completion in three years.
The government took a loan of €80 million (Sh9.4 billion) from Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, a German bank, for steam field development in the project area.
The power company is developing water systems, with more than 20 wells already drilled in Korosi, Paka and Silale.
Mr George Kinyanjui, the GDC general manager in charge of drilling and infrastructure, said the firm had already opened the road network to the area, with work on more than 120 kilometres already completed.
“We’re installing steam fields, three in each of the project areas,” Mr Kinyanjui said.
The company has already installed community distribution systems and nine storage tanks, each with a capacity of 4.5 million litres, with the water to be pumped through two-inch pipes from the source at Lake Baringo.
In total, the Bogoria-Silale Geothermal block will generate more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity once the entire work is completed.
GDC has identified Silale, Paka, Korossi/Chepchuk and areas around lakes Baringo and Bogoria as potential sites for geothermal energy development.
The project has so far attracted 36 bidders who are expected to provide services such as casing and well cementing, rig moving, drill pipe inspection, directional drilling and aerated drilling.
Eng Johnson ole Nchoe, the managing director, said the firm set aside Sh300 billion for the project in the first phase, with another Sh600 billion to be injected into the project in the second phase.
“On its completion, the project will see the generation of more than Sh11.5 billion annually, with 15 per cent of the total revenue being channelled to benefit the communities in the surrounding areas,” Eng Nchoe, who led a high-powered delegation to the project area on Saturday, said.
The project, which will also see carbon credit valued at over Sh2.9 billion being produced, will make Baringo County an economic hub.
The electricity generated will also benefit Turkana County, where oil has been discovered.