Kenya helps Rwanda to obtain geothermal power

(ADPnews) - May 9, 2011 - Kenya is offering its geothermal expertise to Rwanda and other countries in the region suffering from electricity shortage, Kenyan energy minister Kiraitu Mrungi announced last week.

The move is anticipated to find a lasting energy solution and attain energy sufficiency.

"Geothermal is the only alternative in the region for secure and reliable supply of energy. As you know, thermal is very expensive. Hydropower has also become unreliable because of climatic change and drought", the minister commented during the press briefing in Nairobi last week.

As part of the arrangement, Kenya is training geothermal scientists, engineers and technicians from Rwanda on geothermal technology. In addition, the country will send experts to Rwanda to facilitate the establishment of structures and systems in exploration drilling and power plants.

At present, 12 Rwandese students are being trained by the Kenya's Geothermal Development Company (GDC) in Nakuru. The 35-days training include seminars and field tours.

Earlier this year, in March, Rwanda's government announced that it would invest USD 935 million (EUR 649m) in the development of 310 MW of geothermal-based electricity in the next seven years as only 14% of the country's population has access to electricity.

Besides geothermal, Rwanda is also looking into developing hydropower, methane gas, solar, biogas, peat, with a goal to reach 1 GW of production capacity by 2017.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.695)

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