Ethiopia to construct 150 MW geothermal power plant

24 April 2020

Ethiopia is to benefit from the construction of a 150 MW geothermal power plant following a power purchase agreement signed between the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) company  and  the Corbetti Geothermal project developers.

The signing was announced by InfraCo Africa, a subsidiary of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and one of the four companies behind the project. The other three are Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd, Iceland Drilling Co Ltd, and the Berkeley Energy.

The InfraCo Africa CEO Mr. Gilles Vaes said that the consortium remains committed to the development of geothermal energy in the Ethiopian Rift Valley at these challenging times and that they are excited to take the next steps together and in close partnership with EEP and the Ethiopian government to realize this ambitious project.

Implementation of the project

The PPA and IA signed allows the Corbetti geothermal project to move into the next phase of implementation and to commence the drilling programme.

The project will be developed in two phases over a five year period. The first phase will be drilling of four to six exploitation wells. Steam from this wells will be collected to operate a 50MW power plant that is expected to become operational in 2023. This phase will be financially supported by the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), a sub-regional organization that finances and facilitates the development of geothermal energy in East Africa.

The second phase of the project will consist of an additional 100MW power plant and facilities. The entire project also involves construction of an access road, a 15 km transmission line and a substation.

Upon completion, Corbetti Geothermal power plant will be one of the first pair of privately developed, owned and operated geothermal IPPs in Ethiopia. With a total capacity of 150 MW, it will enable the Ethiopian government to meet 18% of its geothermal production target by 2025.

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